It’s been so long since I’ve picked up a brush, dipped it in paint and laid a thick stroke on canvas. I’ve always loved art and was immersed in it when I was younger. Now that I’m immersed with time-consuming classes, it only makes sense that I have fewer opportunities to pursue creative endeavors.
That changed last month, when one weeknight evening I was transported to a wonderful place that let me forget about all the drugs I had to memorize. My roommate Naz booked us an art class at VIP Paints, a surprise early birthday gift.
The location of these BYOB painting classes varies; the one I attended took place in an upscale loft at Roosevelt Collection, a newly opened mixed-use complex in the South Loop. Parking was free and, from several stories up, the city view was beautiful. Inside, the loft was filled with eager would-be artists, rows of canvases and French tunes. The loft made for a cramped studio and there were several accidental spills, but the painting instructor and event planner were both so helpful and kind.
Everyone worked on the same portrait, a festive view of the Eiffel Tower at night. The instructor led us through a series of steps that transformed our blank canvases into colorful Parisian scenes. The instructions were given quickly and we found ourselves a step or two behind at first. But it didn’t take too long to catch up to speed once the background was laid, and we were quickly painting our own renditions of the iconic tower.