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Painting with Bentley

By on February 25, 2020 in Uncategorized with 0 Comments
Bentley with grandmother Julene: Ready to make his own art.

Having fun with our grandson — better than watching pancake art on YouTube

By James McGregor

Our grandson Bentley is great. 

With that said, like most children these days, he spends too much of his life staring at a computer screen. 

He will come into our house and pick up the remote control, the computer, or phone and enter the world of electronics. Some times this is a great learning activity. 

Other times, we are watching people on YouTube making pancake art or just flipping bottles — trying to get them to land standing up. 

Then one day, Bentley saw a painting that my wife, Julene, had created at a social painting class.

Social painting classes and other such social hobby classes are very popular today. They involve a teacher teaching an activity to a group of people. The individuals who join these classes are doing so as an activity to escape from the daily life and socialize with others while doing an activity. 

Back to Bentley… Bentley saw this painting that his grandma had created and was very interested. Bentley asked, “Can I have it?” While Julene had given him paintings in the past, she was attached to this one. 

This created an opportunity. Our thought was that a certificate for Bentley to experience a kid’s painting class would be a great break from the daily electronic overload. What a great gift idea, the three of us going to a painting class.

My thought was, “I get a break from watching pancake art!”

The three of us arrived on a Saturday afternoon. All of the students were already sitting. I looked around the room and there were many parents getting ready to paint. This child’s and parent’s class was full.

We quickly sat and listened to the instructor. 

Once we were given the basic instruction on what we would be painting, “A Posh Pig” — what every guy in his late 40s would want to paint. 

As I thought about the Posh Pig, I looked down and saw how enthralled Bentley was with this whole experience. He was into it and because he was into it and because I was not having to watch YouTube today, I was also going to be into it.

The painting instruction was given in a way to provide information and to support novice painters like ourselves.

We started with the background, long diagonal strokes with the large square-bristle brush. And the color was great, lavender. I love mixing the paint. A little blue, a little red, and a little white. As I mixed, I needed more red, then more white, then more blue. This continues until I have to make a conscious choice to stop mixing and start creating my background. 

I dipped the brush tip into the paint like it was a shovel, scooping it up. I took the loaded brush and started at one end of the canvas, and pulled it across and off the other side. After a few more strokes, I started to get into a natural rhythm, back and forth, back and forth. As my brush drew across the canvas and fell off the other side, I felt it hit something. I looked up. Yup, it was Bentley’s hand. He was holding his brush a little too close. His face lit up as he notices his hand was covered in paint and after a few giggles and some hand wipes, we were back on our “Posh Pig.”

After the background was complete — mine was awesome — we started on the pig’s face. This was my favorite part. Not because we got to mix paint again but I love making the large fluffy pink circle. There is just something so satisfying with painting. It was pure pleasure. 

Around the halfway mark of our painting, we took a planned break. 

Nancy, the owner of Class With a Glass, did a great job creating the perfect child orientated class. We have sandwiches, popcorn, juice, cookies, apples, string cheese and popcorn… oops, I listed popcorn twice. It was perfect. As the kids and adults sat and ate, the owner read a story. It was a great experience. 

The second half of the class flew by. In no time we were starting to detail the pig. It got some eyes and eyelashes. 

The posh pig painting by James McGregor — how about those glasses?

We were also able to use our imagination and make little shapes in the empty space of the canvas. I was able to spend some of that time watching my grandson paint. It was an amazing experience. 

The last detail was that our “Posh Pig” was going to be wearing glasses. My glasses took a turn from a nice pair of black frames to something similar to a Zorro Mask or even some WW1 plane goggles. 

I am very pleased with the entire experience and would love to take another class. 

I noticed that they have a Paint Your Pet class coming up and if I attend, I will be painting a Baby Yoda from Star Wars but that is another story. 

To learn more about attending an adult or children’s painting class, contact Nancy at Class With A Glass on their website, www.classwithaglass.com, email, info@classwithaglass.com, or by phone, (509) 393-4236. You can also get current information on their Facebook site, Class with a Glass. There is a variety of classes and options for refreshments during social painting events. 

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