By Katie Breaux
My parents are about to sell their house and move to Charlotte; the one they have lived in for 24 years.
The house we became a blended family in. The house where my step-dad built a tree house for me, and the house where I sold countless boxes of Girls Scout cookies to the neighbors. The house where my friends and I had bonfires and the screened porch I dreamed about while I was away at college. Where my nieces and nephews played and grew and danced and lived, and the house I “come home” to every time I visit Minnesota.
After living in our uptown Charlotte apartment for over a year, I finally hung framed pictures of our families from our wedding on the wall. Somehow that simple act makes this apartment feel a little more like “our first home”. But I’ve lived in lots of places – from dorms, to apartments, to houses, to this apartment home filled with lots of new neighbors. And although I know that you can create “home” anywhere – there are still some houses that are simply tough to part with. It’s just four walls but these walls bear witness to so much life, work, sorrow, and joy. These walls are a constant companion to our dreaming, and our little moments of life that only those humans with souls close enough to ours are welcome to walk into.
So we’ve been thinking a lot about home and how we honor those four walls – hence our Watercolor House Workshops!
We’ve had three of these gatherings recently – and to be honest – these are not for the feint of heart. We have opportunities left and right to dabble in casual painting (like at our Sunday Watercolor Wind Downs) but if you are going to knock out a watercolor of your house in 90 minutes, that takes a little hustle! It’s completely entry level in terms of skill, but it is fast-paced! To help us barrel through the “drawing process” which can involve lots of erasing, sketching, requests for stencils and negative self talk, our team of artists create a digital line drawing of each house ahead of time. This allows for each person to dive right into the wet & colorful world of watercolor right off the bat!
We can’t give away all the fun secrets of this workshop – but it involves lots of water, light layers of paint, coffee, more layers of texture with paint, more coffee (or beer) and detailing with ink. I would say at about the 40 minute mark everyone questions what the heck they are doing and wonders if they should just frame a photograph instead. But if you push through that point – these sweet little watercolor paintings are sentimental, gorgeous, and full of memories. It’s so fun to hear the stories of how people bought their first house, or how their grandmother lived there since the 40’s, or how their kids were rolling in that front yard yesterday.
So here is to that place you call home! – To that little space on this earth where you hold your moments and humans that are dear to your heart. May it be filled with more love that you know what do with, may your doors be open to every kind of neighbor you meet, and may you find a few sweet moments to steal away and live a beautiful life between those walls.
Enjoy some of these highlights from our recent workshops! And check out our line-up of upcoming workshops here! Hope to see you soon!