Paint(ing) the Town, Part One: Finding Courage on a Blank Canvas

 “I can’t even draw a circle”, I said, with a laugh, eyeing the blank canvas before me with more than a little trepidation. “Sure you can”, my Courageous friend Raeus replied, as she began to make a circular motion with her right arm. “The key is to use your whole arm, not just your hand and wrist…”

And so the lesson – and confidence work – began.

The Courageous Women who came to last week’s Secret Adventure found themselves in, of all places, the gallery and art studio of Fine Arts Blount, as guests of local artist, Cindy Booth McDannel, and her sweet mom, Mary Jane Booth. Cindy contacted me a few months ago suggesting that one of her “Paint the Town” adult painting classes might work well as one of our Secret Adventures.

I personally can’t draw worth a hoot, so I agreed!

Because you don’t have to jump off a mountain to face a personal challenge. Or to build your confidence. For some of us, all it takes is to ask us to dip a small, finely-crafted paintbrush into a puddle of bright blue, and make that first big swish across a blank white space.

So last Saturday, that’s what we did. We dove in, trusting Cindy’s guidance as we followed her lead to creating our very own masterpiece.

And for some of us, this was right up our creative alley. For others, it was waaaay outside our comfort zone. I would be in the latter camp. :)

 Some of us hung on to every word she said, trying hard to copy her every move. Others went off on their own in a completely different direction, choosing a different path with whimsy and abandon.

Some, like me, cracked too many jokes and maneuvered for extra help from the teacher. :)

Others dove deep into that rainbow of colors before them, getting lost in their own world for two full hours. Now THAT’s stress relief!

In the end, by golly, we all finished up with something we could be proud of.

And along the way, we learned a few lessons. I’ll share some of those in my next post.

In the mean time, how about you? How comfortable are you with your creative self? How long has it been since you allowed yourself to indulge in little creative play? What’s stopping you?

Whatever it is, find a way to push past that this week. Creative play frees up your mind in so many important ways. Problem solving improves. Stress diminishes. Joy returns – even if but for a moment.

Pick up your favorite creative tool, whether it’s a guitar, a skillet, a hammer, a sewing needle or a paintbrush. Choose your canvas, and make a mark. Just see where it leads you.

Then snap a photo and post it to the comments below.

Be Bold. No judgments allowed (especially the critical kind.)

Share YOUR masterpiece, won’t you?



Want to get in the loop to know about our next Secret Adventure?

Tell me so in your comment below and I’ll be sure you get an invitation!

Here’s the fall calendar, and here’s a post about the new level designations, to help you out.



Photo Credits: Wendy Pitts Reeves


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