Like many Portlanders, I fancy myself to be a creative person. I love to write, and sing, and draw and all of that stuff. The problem is, while I do very much enjoy drawing and painting, I’m not really very good at it. I think people are generally interested in my writing and maybe even some of my music, but I don’t think anyone would pay money for one of my drawings—let alone want to hang it on their wall.
Unlike with my writing and my music, I didn’t catch the artistic bug as a kid, so, I assumed it was too late for me. I mean, if you don’t learn young, you’re not ever going to, right?
Well, I made a mistake in my own ability to learn. This old dog can, indeed, learn new tricks. The Vine Gogh Artist Bar and Studio on the Pacific Highway in Tigard, Oregon—not too far from Portland—caters to adults looking to enrich their lives and enhance their creative abilities.
The Vine Gogh Artist Bar and Studio was founded by Jenny Schildan. As the artist-in-residence at a local grade school, she inspired more than six hundred grade-schoolers to self-assuredly employ a paintbrush, helping to create a future generation of artists to enhance to beauty of the world, and, hopefully, keeping Portland, Oregon a little bit weird.
Now, she applies the same passion and fortitude when teaching her adult art classes.
And, we adults, as you may or may not know, are a lot more stubborn and stuck in our ways than children. Bless her heart. I had a blast in my class but I could never do what she does. Adults are the worst students.
During my session, Schildan emphasized the contemplative and calming aspects of painting in her classes. It was kind of a form of less tiring Yoga. A true release from my stressful day job. “You kind of get tunnel vision for a couple hours—it’s a nice way to leave the planet,” she said before sending us off on our guided artistic quest.
To set a soothing tone, she served us wine and put on music. And then a toast. “To us,” she said. “To art and beauty. And relaxation.” And we were off. She dove into techniques, from which brush to utilize for proper brushstrokes to basic color theory. “It’s like learning a dance routine,” She said. “You go step by step and at the end, you have a whole piece.”
She put me at ease. The nurturing environment the group fostered lured even the most timorous painter (I’m looking at the mirror when I say this) to the canvas with aplomb. And what I created wasn’t half bad. In fact, I couldn’t believe it came from my own hand.
I would totally do it again.
The Vine Gogh Artist Bar and Studio is located at 11513 Southwest Pacific Highway in Tigard. For more info, visit http://vinegogh.com/.