© photo courtesy of Sara Barnes (www.beautifuldecay.com)
Remember the joy that you had as kid while finger-painting? You ran your hands over the paper, delighting in the swirls of color and the cool sensation of wet paint covering your hands and forearms, all the while creating something your parents would be happy to hang on their fridge? You can rediscover the love of art all over again, albeit a less messy version. As a matter of fact, painting together as a couple has become a popular choice for a creative night out.
You always hear the dating gurus talking about trying new things to keep your relationship lively. Connecting with your inner creative child is only one of the benefits of exploring art again.
Why paint as a couple?
1. It’s a bonding experience. You can keep that elusive spark alive twice as brightly when it is a creative spark. When you try new and creative activities together, you can stimulate the body to release oxytocin, “the cuddling hormone,” increasing the feeling of intimacy and trust that you have with the other person. When truly engaged in this artistic activity, you will marvel how quickly time flies. You and your partner get to break the stress and routine of your normal day and engage the right side of your brain, the more creative and intuitive side, to explore and create. You may even develop a passion that you both can share together.
2. It’s a collective accomplishment. Like any activity that may be new or you simply haven’t done for awhile, as you both begin, you may feel some trepidation, but with a little patience and perseverance, those initial jitters are soon replaced with excitement and a sense of accomplishment. The masterpiece you end up with is uniquely yours, and you both can exclaim with pride, “we made this!” Feel free to hang that artwork in a place of honor, perhaps someplace instead of the refrigerator.
3. Paintings have memories. Yes, it sounds strange, but it’s true. In the same way that the smell of a simmering pasta sauce brings you right back to your grandmother’s lasagna, a canvas is imbued with the laughs, emotions, and camaraderie the night that you painted it. While a selfie may be more realistic or detailed, it simply can’t compare with your finished work of art.
4. It’s a peek inside his/her world. The way a person paints: the brushstrokes that he chooses, whether short and choppy or long and fluid, as well as the colors that he chooses, desaturated or bright, is very telling of the artist himself, almost on a subconscious level. There is a reason why the discipline of art therapy has been around for so long. Besides the aspect of self-exploration, your significant other can get a glimpse into your creative life as well.
Or perhaps, like me, you really love art, but your significant other hasn’t created art since kindergarten. After being together over 10 years, my wife finally decided to let me teach her how to paint. She only took one class with me, but her painting turned out pretty darn nice, and we keep it in a place of honor in our home. But more significantly, she left the class having made two discoveries. First, she had a sense of accomplishment that I discussed earlier. Secondly, she now knows on a personal experiential level, why I love art so much.
It was only last week that I overheard her explaining to a friend about how, after that class, she understands that I look at the world differently. It may be the way a tree is backlit by the morning sun, or seeing misty mountains receding into the distance. She knows that I appreciate things that others may overlook. It was touching to hear her say that. Priceless, actually. Consequently, each one of you has the capacity to make these discoveries.
As a result of my love for art and my passion to teach it to others, my wife and I started Palate and Palette. We host events especially designed for those interested in exploring their artistic side. For our Matching Up readers, we’re offering exclusive, customizable Date Nights. Along with patient instruction from our highly-experienced teacher, you may further personalize your experience with the addition of several mouth-watering options created by a professional chef, who will come and prepare a delectable menu of your choosing. For more information, please check out our website link at www.pandpworkshops.com/matchingup.
Terry and Jen Ziegelman are the founders of Palate and Palette, www.pandpworkshops.com, a mobile painting events
company in the Los Angeles area. Terry has loved art since he was little, when he was lucky enough to win an art contest, and the prize was eating breakfast with the original Lone Ranger, actor Clayton Moore. Since then, he has worn many artistic hats: gallery artist, commercial and editorial illustrator, college art professor, private art tutor, and award-winning writer/director for short films. Jen as been working as a wedding and events professional for over a decade, coordinating and planning a vast array of events throughout Maryland, New York City, and Los Angeles. In her spare time, she is a PADI certified scuba diver, a USAG certified gymnastics instructor, and professional stage performer, having performed as Laura in the national tour of “Laura Ingalls Wilder,” the international Broadway tour of “The Sound of Music,” and flying high above the stage on the waters with Disney Cruise Line. Her newest venture is mommy to baby Blake, born in March 2015!