While I loved to draw and paint and color as a kid, I had not done so, other than a moment here and there with my own young kid, in a really long time. So when Jennine found the Groupon to ArtisticAbandon, one of those places for painting and drinking wine with your girlfriends, she said we absolutely should try it out. So we each bought the Groupon for the half-priced night of fun and planned our girls’ night out.
Deciding on a painting wasn’t too hard: we both like the whimsical version of Van Gogh’s Starry Night and we were confident that we would have a great time painting and hanging out, although neither of us cared for wine. And what a great night we had! The artist who taught the group was skillful and witty, keeping us on track with our painting and ringing the bell for us to turn up our glasses! Jennine and I stuck with our water bottles, and we ended the two hour event with our own bright bluish purplish paintings of the stars and moon of the renowned Van Gogh. Jennine hung her painting in her kitchen.
We ventured back to Artistic Abandon for another girls’ night with our other three neighbors in tow in November 2015. Jennine was in the middle of her second breast cancer diagnosis and also dealing with a shoulder injury that affected her using her right arm. Ever the trooper, she was determined to spend the evening painting with us and avoided overusing her arm days before and after our night out. That night we painted a beautiful sunrise of yellows and pinks and the saying, ‘Today I Will Choose Joy.’
Her ‘Joy’ painting stood with her beautiful picture at her celebration of life. My ‘Joy’ canvas sits on my dresser as an everyday reminder to the wonderful, joyful things in my life, including my amazing friend Jennine.