Bottles 'n Brushes

One Night…Your Masterpiece

The Creative Process…Doing the “Thing” You Can’t Do

Color My Soul Class pic“If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint’, then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced” –Vincent Van Gogh

One of the most common phrases said at one of our painting nights is “I can’t paint! I’m a terrible painter! I have no artistic skills! Really I CAN’T PAINT!”. About two hours later, the same people will proudly take their finished paintings up to the stage for a group picture. A dozen or more people standing together, holding paintings, that just hours earlier proclaimed that without a doubt, they could_not_paint. What a beautiful thing to witness!

I have been crafty and creative from the earliest memory of my life. Being the youngest of 3 children, I entertained myself as best I could. I was rarely bored though, often times repurposing odds and ends I would find around the house and backyard to create something. It wasn’t just about the “something” I was making, but rather the process of making it that I enjoyed most. The anticipation of finding treasure in everyday objects; a shoebox, an empty two-liter bottle, broken crayons, bits of string, buttons, etc. I loved collecting all the bits and pieces, waiting for the ideas to come.

I imagine that my brain operates much like a Google search engine: <search = buttons + string + shoebox + craft project + enter>. Oh, the excitement of mentally scrolling through the ideas, floating through my mind in a billion tiny little pieces, waiting for one to land, then grasping hold of it before it takes off again! (If my brain operated like Pinterest, I don’t think I’d have that problem!).

When I first began teaching children to paint, I admit there was a learning curve. The initial reaction is to just grab the brush and do it for them quickly. They ask questions such as “What happens when I mix purple and orange? Why does my brush make this scratchy noise? Why is the water drippy? Why can’t I paint the dog’s eye first? Now can I paint the dog’s eye? I REALLY WANT TO PAINT THE EYE NOW!!!!”. I had to remind myself that somewhere along the way as a child, I didn’t know what happened when you mixed purple in orange. I had to try it and see for myself, so I could learn about colors and how they mixed together (and also that the combination of purple and orange is one that rarely needs to happen). But if I didn’t try, and have the freedom to explore the possibilities, I would just be staring at the answers without knowing what the questions were. There’s not much learning or growth happening there, eh?

I have approached many things in life saying “This is out of my comfort zone, I have never done this before, I don’t know what I’m doing, I seriously can’t ________!”. While my fill-in-the-blank “thing that I can’t do” isn’t painting, that doesn’t mean that whatever it is doesn’t strike fear, anxiousness, and hesitation in me (p.s. it’s anything in the realm of sports). We all have those ‘things’. It could be painting, dancing, cooking, assembling Ikea furniture; it could be running a marathon, or even a mile. Whatever that “thing” is, trust that the process of trying, making mistakes, learning, and growing is often just as valuable (if not more) than the end result.

At Bottles ‘n Brushes we are blessed to be able to help so many people try the “thing” they swear they can’t do. We are right there with you, step by step, giving you a safe space and a fun, social environment to allow that inner Picasso/Monet/Frida/Warhol to come out and play, free of judgments and “can’ts”. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to be a part of your journey, turning one of those “things you can’t do” into a wonderful piece of art, adding color to your life and your walls!

Do you have a story to share about how art has changed your life? Please let us know! We would love to hear from you! Comment below, or email

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This entry was posted on September 17, 2014 by in Inspiration, Personal and tagged , , , .
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