Over the weekend I participated in an annual fundraising event at the Newport Art Museum– Wet Paint. The idea is that artists create something fresh the day of the event and then those ‘wet’ paintings are then sold via silent and live auction that evening.
As an amateur painter who is definitely still learning as I go, it was something I had thought about doing for the past few months. I’ve barely been painting a year, but it’s something I very much enjoy and have tried to do more of the past few weeks as a way to harness some creativity and unwind after a day of work. I’m planning on taking a painting class in the fall and am excited to learn more technique since I pretty much just go with it at the moment.
What was most exciting– and fun– about Wet Paint was that the skill level was all over the place from adult amateur painters like myself to children and of course, amazing professionals. The range of abilities, styles, mediums, and subjects was wonderful to see all in one gallery as well– there were over 250 participants I believe and everyone has such a different point of view that I found it to be quite inspiring for my own painting.
It was also a bit of a personal achievement to do this activity. Other than paintings for family and a few I have shared on the blog, no one has ever seen my painting; in fact, I ran into a few colleagues at the event and none of them I painted in my free time. I’m entirely too critical of myself and even more critical of the painting– a bad habit for sure that definitely inhibits the creative process. Doing this event was a step towards being less judgemental of myself and what I put on the canvas, as well as pushing myself to go outside my comfort zone. There were numerous times in the few days leading up to the fundraiser where I thought I would just be a no- show or skip the evening silent auction party because I didn’t want to be embarrassed by my painting on the wall next to the more polished painters. I’m not quite sure what changed my mind on not going- I think realizing I was being silly and that this was supposed to be fun- that it wasn’t a competition- was what kept me going.
And of course- it was a lot of fun. It was a gorgeous night out with drinks and food, great to look at different types of art, and seeing people outside of the work environment. It definitely made me want to keep painting and learning so overall it was a success. I only had one bid on my painting- from my boyfriend ( I joked that if my parents had been there, they would have been in a bidding war with him)– but even if no one had bid and I had to go pick it up, I’m happy to have participated and contributed in a small way to a great cause.