But last Friday night, I think my friend Michelle and I perfected it.
After a little bit of furniture shifting and a trip to Home Depot to buy some supplies, I taped plastic drop cloths on the walls and floor to create a temporary, non-"apartment deposit destroying" Art Studio (the plastic definitely kept the painting project from morphing into a Spring Cleaning project).
Here is the room pre-action:
In Round 1, we started with a variation of a "splatter paint" idea I saw in "The Princess Diaries." After using the funnel to put paint in the balloons and taping those balloons to a canvas* on the wall, we shot at the balloons with my friend's Airsoft gun ... Best. Artistic tool. Ever.
This artistic "Biathlon," which created a vibrant and unique splatter scheme, was, to put it in one phrase, totally wicked! And it left lots of little pools of paint littering the floor like a multi-colored mine field. Having inadvertently created such a perfect art palette, in Round 2, we did what came naturally ... we dropped a new canvas on the ground and started making "Foot Art."
Here is the finished product:
After the first two rounds, we (and the art studio) were knee deep in the the Art of Entropy.
To kick off Round 3, we dropped another canvas on the ground and tried a bit of drip painting (inspired by old Jack). A rousing round of joyous spontaneity! Fun twist, though, after we finished dripping, Michelle grabbed the spray bottle and sprayed part of the canvas causing the colors to blend together in an even more interesting panorama.
Finally, in Round 4 we decided to limit our color scheme to blue and red and created a mirror image painting by splattering one half of the canvas and then folding it over. We ended up with a sort of artistic commentary on political (Democrats v. Republicans) and scholastic (BYU v. U. of U.) rivalry:
After all was said and done, we taped the four pieces to the wall so they could dry ... **
... and paused for a moment to appreciate the art (pondering? planning future projects? posing for a picture?):
During the night, as we got messy, made mistakes, and had an altogether brilliant time, I wondered why I had done so little visual art over the past few years. Now, it's true that law school doesn't lend itself to Art Jammin' nearly often enough ... but I realized (after some thought and a bit of conversation) that I actually began to let go of art back in eighth grade when it dawned on me that my very limited, "traditional" artistic talent was likely to pull down my GPA (pretty sure my lowest grade ever was in art class that year).
Now, that's not to say I don't like to get creative ... even law school lends itself to interesting & innovative outlets (just look at the "Death Concert" some of my friends put on). I think, though, that I hadn't done much visual art because I let that negative, eighth-grade response from my art teacher get me down.
Fortunately, though, on Friday, I rediscovered the joy of artistic creation. And what profound joy that is. As Pres. Uchtdorf told the sisters in a recent General Relief Society Meeting:
I for one am definitely going to let that inner me - that creative me - out far more often. Not just in painting or in writing (though I'm planning to do more of both), but also in the ways I interact with people; in the way I approach my calling; in everything I do. And hopefully, with a little practice, I'll begin to become more like my "endlessly creative" Father in Heaven.
The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul. No matter our talents, education, backgrounds, or abilities, we each have an inherent wish to create something that did not exist before.
Everyone can create. You don’t need money, position, or influence in order to create something of substance or beauty.
... You might say, “I’m not the creative type." ... If that is how you feel, think again, and remember that you are spirit daughters [and sons] of the most creative Being in the universe. Isn’t it remarkable to think that your very spirits are fashioned by an endlessly creative and eternally compassionate God? Think about it—your spirit body is a masterpiece, created with a beauty, function, and capacity beyond imagination.
... What you create doesn’t have to be perfect. ... Don’t let the voice of critics paralyze you—whether that voice comes from the outside or the inside. ... The more you trust and rely upon the Spirit, the greater your capacity to create. That is your opportunity in this life and your destiny in the life to come.***
* NOTE 1: The "canvas" was actually a bed sheet cut in four pieces ...
** NOTE 2: One of the best part's about Friday's art extravaganza is that the floor itself became a piece of art, combining the best of all four sessions and providing a rare glimpse at the artistic process ...
** NOTE 3: For a really inspiring Mormon Message based on this talk, click here.