I hope you’re having a fabulous summer so far. We can’t get enough of this gorgeous sunshine – and it seems everyone we run into is alarmed at how fast summer has flown by this year. In the effort to try to soak up every last moment of it – my next couple of posts are dedicated to summer days, and nights.
Together with my brother and sister-in-law we had a great opportunity to celebrate my mother-in-law’s (Gloria) birthday while we visited her in the interior at the beginning of this month. It was a blast to meet some of her friends, and to have an evening sitting under the stars in the hot (hot!) weather, enjoying a some wine, some memories … and some art. Gloria is a very talented artist. In a small tribute to her passion we challenged guests to paint her a picture at some point in the evening in a 4×6 canvas. The only question we asked her was to name her five favorite colours. Those colours were what we set out to use throughout the evening…
It took some time (and for some of us a few glasses of wine) but pretty much everyone got in to it at some point and we ended up with a series of prints that we put into a frame to help remember the day, and the good friends she has.
Before going to visit, we set our kids up with bigger canvasses in the yard. With the only rule being the use of their Grandmother’s five favorite paint colours as ammunition – they each set out painting their masterpiece. They used brushes, sponges, fingers… and a foot at one point! It was so cool to see how different each of them was in their approach. With no fears of making a mess (who cares? we hosed them off after) or of rules of what or how to paint – they each took their own – very different path.
Matthew thought about the colours for a while and decided to paint a sun set on the water – then painted an octopus and a sea turtle in the water and made sure it looked like an ocean by adding the coral reef. It was thoughtful, and filled with a story about what each of the animals in the ocean was doing and there was no more paint than was required. It dried almost instantly and Matt was happy to continue on painting sea creatures on paper after he was quickly done with the canvas.
Kate decided she was painting a red butterfly – and then loved using the water on her brush and then loved the look of mixing colours, and she just kept painting layers and colours until every tiny spec of the canvas was covered. She looked at it when she was done and noted that it was a butterfly in the blue sky above the trees with the sunshine. Completely satisfied in her creation – and the last one to put down her brush. Her masterpiece took three days to dry.
Charlotte listened carefully to Kate and also decided to paint a butterfly – but her image was true to form with big colour blocked wings and a huge influence of her favorite colour: purple – she wanted to be sure we knew it was a butterfly even though she too, almost filled her canvas with globs of paint – and you can really see that it is – she can point out the blue body to you and the wings and the sunshine in the background if you like … (it is upside down here)
My brother and sister-in-law did most of the work of arranging for rentals and the catering so it left me with the very happy job of just making the table look pretty. One small art project was painting small ikea vases with her favorite colours, and then painting tags to match each one.
On the night of the party everyone took home their vase – which doubled as their take-away and a place setting … and held the flowers for the place settings.
We even got the kids in to the celebration and the art theme by baking mini cupcakes in solid coloured mini cupcake holders – which we then matched with icing and set out on artist boards to supplement the amazing dessert provided by the caterer.
It was a super fun day – and the prep for it was just as fun (as you can tell) … but one of my favorite moments of the evening was watching our girls with their little cousin – just hanging out in their own creative little world…