JUST ONE CANVAS??
That was my question for the young woman who contacted me about a surprise for her "Mamie" she affectionately refers to her grandmother. I get a lot of requests for paint events by luxury apartment complexes for socials, companies for creative employee appreciation events and birthdays & showers, etc. It involves prepping sample art from our gallery and packing up several canvases and easels and making sure there is plenty of seating, easels and supplies for each artist.
THIS TIME was different. This rather large family wanted to give a gift of one collaborative masterpiece to their 'Mamie' - a gift from their hearts as she returned home after a series of medical treatments to celebrate her healing and express their love and appreciation.
So, I made a visit to the beautiful home they had decided to hold this family reunion and paint event (I usually make sure I see where I will be setting up in advance.) I was greeted by two big adorable and rambunctious puppies and mom just getting her kids after school snacks. Pets and small children around paint can be a challenge. They had a lovely pool as well, which makes me think - please don't leave me out by the pool with kids! (Yikes - danger, I can't watch them and run a paint party!) She graciously showed me the garage (no AC in Texas heat?) We looked in the foyer (too wide open for pets and children running around.) Then, there was a guest room with french doors off the pool & barbecue grill area with it's own bathroom - perfect! I could cover everything with painters drop clothes and take 2-3 painters at a time into this room with the large canvas and the family can entertain and reminisce by the pool. My mind was focused on the logistics of the event and keeping the home spotless through the paint activity so the host could focus on her thing.
The day arrived and I quickly went to the dedicated room and set up. I was prepared! What I wasn't prepared for was the emotion this amazing sweet and fantastically funny family drew from me as I spent time with them painting. They shared about themselves, their stories about cousin's, siblings & grandma and their insecurities about painting on this huge canvas! "I don't want to ruin it!" The little ones where actually the most confident. We started out with a sample garden scene but after consulting with "Mamie" first about her favorite colors, and with each family members individual contributions the painting just took on a life of it's own!
The laughter and singing in the other room made it a warm an wonderful experience. It was supposed to be a surprise for Mamie but I think it was a beautiful surprise and precious gift for me to see a family united in love!
Donna Blodgett Lita
Owner, Laugh A Lot Mobile Art Events - Connecting people with their creative side and others through art and laughter.