Arts & Crafts / Be Creative! / Be Inspired! / Hobbies

Art Night

Yes, art night: It meets in secret, whenever select stars align, and there’s a password and handshake. Participants pass through a series of rooms, each more vivid and enchantingly adorned than the next with color and texture and shape. Beyond lies the studio, a play room of canvases, paints, chalk, papers, woods and much more, to be used in any combination as personal muses are moved.

Not exactly true, of course, but sort of the way it is. Every other month or so, I get to join a private cadre of stunning women in a play date of sorts, hosted by the brilliant Terrell Powell and his equally phenomenal wife Patricia Phifer.  We roll into their home and studio, we each grab a canvas and play with paints for a few hours. We make a lot of noise, and sometimes it seems as though everyone at the table generates enough lumens from their own human brilliance to light the room.

Check it out:

Wine and laughter. Painting is actually optional!

If I ruled the world, everyone would get to go an art class like this. The words “perfection” and “failure” are left at the door. Terry usually plants a seed in our heads; we’re free to adopt or ignore, and each of us shines in her own way.  I can’t speak for everyone else, but I think art night is inspired, from the conversation to  the company to the learning and the work.

When art class met last week, I naturally used it to do a little task work.


The task calls for a scout to use geometric shapes to make a  picture. This scary portrait of my husband meets the challenge, I think, but sure I wouldn’t put it on our a Christmas card:

It’s not the kind, soft face I’m accustomed to seeing everyday. I think the piece below (done in class a few months ago, made from odds and ends of wood and sandpaper), actually gets a little closer to it, if only because the winking eye is a deliberate homage to his love of baseball:

So while this week’s Scary Robot Guy didn’t really feel like primo work, it was a good exercise in breaking down what we see around us into geometric shapes. And I kind of like the Pink Baseball Guy. He’s a keeper.

In another badge task, still to be done, scouts have to look for such shapes in nature. That task, and I think this one, too, kind of weird me out; I generally think of the world as having no straight lines at all, and it just messes with my head a bit to apply them so concretely.

Perhaps that explains the C in high school geometry.


As usual, on art night, we are all really jazzed by the creativity of others in the room, so here are a couple shots to give you a small notion of how cool it is to spend a few hours with a bunch of paints and interesting adults. FYI, the canvas for all of these creations was plain old tar paper.

Look at Ginger’s beautiful treatment of one color in its many hues (inspiration for another task, actually):

And Brenda’s bird simply blew us all away:

And finally, here’s Terry’s piece de resistance. I think it took him a ridiculously short time — about 30 minutes to do this horse:

So thanks Terry and Pat for opening your home to this ragged pack of middle-aged children, and helping us learn to translate the world around us in new ways. Y’all know how to do this living thing right, and I leave each art night inspired and really happy.

More to come from art class on this blog in time, but check out Terry’s work online here:, and he posts a lot of new work regularly on his FB page. Pat’s jewelry is killer good, too.

Closing thought:


I suspect this is true.

I suspect this is true.


4 thoughts on “Art Night

  1. Pingback: Custom Fabric Design for Dummies | The Big Scout Project

  2. Pingback: Fabric Design for Dummies | The Big Scout Project

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