Ask anyone who owns a dog or a cat, and they will likely agree that nothing brings more color or life to one’s home than a pet. I can attest that my APR alumnus, Milo, is the primary source of exuberance in our household. So, naturally, I jumped at the chance to register when I saw that Painting with a Twist was hosting a “Paint Your Pet” event.
I had been looking for something to brighten up the four dull walls that make up my office. Since our company’s Human Resources policy does not permit bringing peppy dogs to our conservative workplace, a painting of Milo was the next best thing. I normally consider it impolite to tell people what they should be doing in their free time. But if you have a Milo of your own, Paint[ing] Your Pet is a must!
Here’s how it works: You register and pay online to reserve your spot. Send in a photo of your pet, and the artists at Painting With a Twist will sketch his or her portrait on the canvas (which looks impressive even before you start painting!). Once everyone arrives and smocks up, the instructor will guide the class through each step of the painting, which is broken down in several sections. A few staff members will be checking in with everyone to offer help as needed.
To ensure the best experience, here are a few pointers that you may find helpful as a first-time painter:
- Select a few photos
For best results, you will want to send a clear photo of your pet (one that has sufficient lighting, etc.) Just in case one isn’t the best example to sketch, it’s a good idea to send 2-3 photos of your pet. The real challenge will be narrowing down just a few of the hundreds of photos you have snapped of your fur baby!
- Don’t hesitate to go solo
This is a great activity for groups or couples. However, if your squad of fellow “pawrents” cannot attend, do not fret. You will be painting with like-minded people who love their pets!
- Don’t skip the snacks
Just painting for a few hours won’t create much of an appetite, right? Wrong! Do not make the mistake I made – bring some light snacks so your focus can remain on your canvas, not envying other artists’ trail mix.
- BYOB and BYOC
Yes, you can bring wine (or any refreshment you choose)! The studio will have wine bottle openers, but they do not have cups or any other utensils, so please remember to bring some cups for your refreshments!
- Don’t stress over achieving perfection
Even if you have zero experience, there is zero pressure to create a masterpiece (although you probably will!). You will be reminded not to feel rushed to keep up with anyone else’s pace. For additional peace of mind, the instructor promised us that no matter how poorly we thought we were doing, it would all come together in the end. She was right!
When channeling your inner Picasso, remember that it really is all about the experience and having fun. Art is subjective to begin with, but really, how could anyone not love a painting of his or her own pet?
Ironically enough, the photo that I chose to paint of Milo was taken at Abandoned Pet Rescue back when he was known as “Boone,” and I only had hope that he would be coming home with me soon. I chose this photo of him, because even though we had only met a few times and he hadn’t entirely come out of his shell yet, he looked so happy. The perfect photo of Milo captures his high-spirited personality, as we know it now, and this one is still a top pick.
Just as Milo has brought so much joy to my life, the painting of his furry, happy face has now brightened up my dim office. I highly recommend this event for all pet owners. Our four-legged fur-riends deserve to be put on a pet-estal! Look out for your chance to participate in our APR Paint Your Pet session at Blanco Y Blanco Arts this fall!