Last weekend, I went to Atlanta to celebrate my awesome friend Jessica’s birthday. I originally had my heart set on having a party for her, but the planning was futile. Instead, she decided she wanted some of her closest friends to join her for a painting class at a place called Just for Giggles. I did not think I would enjoy myself.
What I imagined was a class full of a bunch of strangers and all of us struggling to keep up with the instructor, whose backside we would see the entire time, while struggling to create a replica of what he or she created. The class really could not have been any different.
The first thing we were instructed to do was to choose a painting off the wall. I was so glad to have a choice in what I painted and to be allowed to customize the one I chose. Secondly, the instructor walked around the entire time, could not have been any more friendly, and gave excellent advice on how to proceed. Oh, and there was a ton of wine and cupcakes!
Watching my friends get so excited to paint was totally worth the money. I ended up getting so focused on what I was doing that I had to keep reminding myself to get up and walk around. I even realized a few times that I was neglecting my rosé! Unheard of.
Art is just the best thing in the world. I would totally go to a painting class again and I’m already champing at the bit to create more art. Here is the painting of birch trees I ended up with on Saturday:
Lately, I have been so astounded by the news. Every day seems to bring another handful of stories that leave me feeling disappointed and sad. I have a very diverse, open-minded group of friends who, at times, make it easy to stay in the dark on certain issues that seem to be plaguing our country. Stepping into the light burns a bit at first, but it has become necessary.
Unnecessary, hate-fueled shootings and instances of racism are becoming entirely too commonplace. I just read that an old Korean American roommate of mine was called a “chink” at the AHRC New York City Foundation by a janitor upon his arrival and the company actually allowed and made excuses for the incident. Unacceptable.
I live in what is often referred to as the “greatest country in the world.” One would expect its citizens to be comprised of mostly those who have the ability to take a look in the mirror and make edits if what they see reflects traits such as unkind or hateful. I have very little tolerance for people who are jerks just to be jerks.
When I was a little boy, I used to wonder how in the world the hate in the world would ever end. I decided the answer might be to just wait until the older generations die out. Now, I’m not so sure. At the end of the day, I can only hope and pray for sensibility and love to persevere.
Today is my last full day on my trip home to Brooklyn. I have really enjoyed seeing my friends and the places I love to see so much. The feeling of knowing some things have not changed is simply wonderful. I am not ready to say “Goodbye,” but I rarely am.
The first night here, I had an unplanned Art Night with Liz and her friend James. We became quiet and focused on our own art. I was reminded of how much I miss these nights. Liz and I created so many fun projects when I lived here and I loved being brought back to the memories.
Alex Markovich. 40 y.o. Russia. Artist. Author. MarkovichUniverse AT gmail DOT com Feel free to use my paintings and photos on your blogs and social networks as illustrations for your stories, poems, etc.