We gathered for Barnaby’s birthday party …
But it wasn’t just another party.
Firstly, The Squad is back together again after a Summer of travels!
And there was food for us and hoomans too.
And then the hoomans had a mission – they were going to paint portraits of us!
Look at Mum in deep concentration.
It sort of does look like us …
And that looks like Fred!
While they were completely focused on their painting …
I helped myself to the doggy donuts.
And the results – TA DAAAH!
May’s comment: Finally something of mine to add to the gallery wall! Still unfinished … an excuse to go back to this fab place – Masterpeace Creative Studio
Julie and Belinda discovered MasterPeace and thought it would make a fab place to celebrate Barnaby’s birthday as well as bringing The Squad altogether again.
The essence of this place is doing art mindfully – to reduce stress and anxiety. The session began with a short meditative session and we then use a light box to project the photo we want to paint onto the canvas. It isn’t as easy as it seems. When one looks closely at a photo, you see so much more than just what is obvious. For example, to paint a black dog – it’s not just dipping the brush in black paint and paint it’s form. When looking closer, you discover there are shades of blues and purples in the black. And the expression in the eyes.
I enjoyed our session tremendously and loved it for a couple of reasons. I’ve always been quite good at art when at school but never ever pursued it again once I entered the working world. There was never space to paint and oh, all that effort of taking out brushes and paints and cleaning up – just killed the joy of it. Being in the studio, sitting in front of a canvas and the smell of the paint was familiar. It brought back a lot of childhood memories. To be able to return to that space, remembering those times when I created pictures with a brush or a pencil – was in one sense comfort but also brought back the initial fear of putting brush to paper. Where does one begin in creation?
But as soon as the brush strokes began, the focus was on the creation. The experience became surprisingly therapeutic. I felt divorced from the daily stresses of getting from one place to the next or the list of things to do. For the whole 90mins, I left them outside the studio and focused on creating.
What a fab way to break up the daily routine, to balance ourselves and our minds – to shift the focus.
In addition to all that, because we did it as a group, it became a shared experience with friends. We were back to basics – using our hands to create. And because the photo projected onto the canvas came from our phone, none of us could take photos or look at text messages. That was an added bonus!
MasterPeace Creative Studios at 12 Eccleston Yards, London is a drop-in boutique art gallery offering a unique painting and drawing experience where you can paint photos you love – mindfully. You can book individual or group sessions. There are professional artists there to help you develop your skills.
We’ll be back to finish off our pieces – didn’t have time to do the background.