Channeling My Inner Van Goh


Although I’m the crafty type, painting is a skill that eludes me. I seriously suck at it. So when I saw a painting class offered on Groupon I figured why not? The hubs wasn’t too interested in joining me so I purchased a single coupon and figured it would be a fun way to meet a few new creative people.

When I checked the studio’s schedule to decide which class to attend I noticed that they offered one called “Starry Night Over Alaska” which used Van Goh’s Starry, Starry Night as inspiration. That has always been my favorite painting, so I was pretty excited to give it a try. Maybe it’s the scene, maybe it’s the movement, or maybe it’s just all the little details put together. Whatever ‘it’ is, I LOVE it!

When I arrived at the studio I was greeted by walls of the other designs they teach.  There were several I wouldn’t mind attempting and possibly hanging in my home.  Here’s just a small group of the options.


Luckily, everyone started out with a stenciled canvas like this.   That immediately made me a little more confident that my final product would turn out looking at least somewhat like the masterpiece I adore.


They gave us palettes of paint and showed us which to mix for the different sections of the painting.  First we started with the sky.  The first layer looked pretty rough but they assured us that it would get better.



Next we filled in our comet, stars and moon.  I wasn’t super happy with the lack of blending I was seeing in the comet tail, so I went back in and worked on it a bit more before we had to move on to the other half of the painting, where the ground and mountains were.


I didn’t get any shots of the lower half in progress, because we were running a bit behind and had to rush a bit to stay on schedule.  Although that certainly flustered my inner perfectionist I had to finally call it done and let it dry so I could hit the road for my hour drive home.


And here’s my finished creation.  Rather than the little village seen in Van Goh’s version, we depicted Sleeping Lady and glaciers.  I had a bit of trouble with the flat brush that was supposed to create the depth and tones on the mountains so they aren’t as crisp as I’d like, but I decided to go with the instructor’s five foot rule – that most paintings look pretty darn good from 5′, but when you’re up close painting them you notice little things you want to play with.

The instructor offered that we’re welcome to come back during her open studio time any week if there are things we want to ‘adjust’ after we live with it for a while.  I’m considering it, but probably won’t just because although it’s not the original master piece, part of it’s beauty is it’s imperfection.  Than and the fact that if I have time to go back, I’m painting another creation! 🙂

PS – Enjoy that little sneak peek of my fall decor.  I’ll share more of that next week so stay tuned!