If You Give a Girl a Canvas, Her Mom Cave Gets Some Handmade Flair

Here's what happened after I had a two-hour session in abstract art in downtown Rochester.


Last year I carved out some "me" space in our home and named it the

Patch readers got to come along for the ride from  and the to . 

One thing you didn't get to read about was the artwork that decorates my Mom Cave walls. 

There's a reason for that: there wasn't any.

For nine long months, the only thing on the walls was a of soft mint.

It wasn't from a lack of trying. I did my fair share of shopping, it's just nothing ever seemed quite right.

Enter the Abstract Painting Workshop

Then, fortunately for me and my Mom Cave, my editor friend turned another year older. 

To celebrate she asked a group of us to join her at the for an Abstract Painting Workshop. We brought munchies and beverages to make a night of it.

This popular two-hour workshop is often offered on Friday evenings. Students are asked to bring an 18x24 canvas and one plastic squeegee, available at ,  or . Firebrick provides the acrylic paint, in primary colors plus black and white. Students are welcome to bring additional paint colors.

The best part: no experience required!

Owner and instructor Christine Laikind had a couple examples of her abstract art on display to inspire. She also created another piece while we watched, explaining how to best use the tools and the techniques.

Laikind's example was gorgeous sunflowers in a pure blue Kansas sky, so most of the students painted flowers.

Not me. I was channeling some weird macho mojo that night and created something I named "Birth of Godzilla." While not appropriate for the Mom Cave, it may find a home in the Man Cave. (More on the Man Cave in a future column.)

We all had a ton of fun creating our masterpieces and getting messy. Word to the wise: when Laikind tells you to dress for a mess, believe her.

Just keep painting ...

Saturday morning I awoke with visions of flowers in my head. The macho mojo had passed and I was longing to get in touch with my floral side.

Armed with those great coupons Jo-Ann always drops in the mail, I made a second trip to get an even bigger canvas and more paint colors. 

For reasons I don't understand, my kids were in awe of "Birth of Godzilla" so I got them some canvases too and tried to impart Laikind's wisdom on them.

More messes, more masterpieces: This time a flower piece fitting of the Mom Cave.

(My boys created a 3-D alligator and cute, fluffy bunny which hang proudly in their bedrooms.)

Sunday I was struck by an empty corner in the Mom Cave and my delight with the birds outside my window. Another trip to Jo-Ann; another empty wall filled.

Now I look for inspiration all around me and my boys constantly ask for "more canvases, please!"

So I'm rewriting that old saying to this: "If you give a person a picture, you decorate one wall. But if you teach a person to paint, the possibilities are endless!"

Firebrick Gallery & Pottery Studio is located at 404 S. Main Street. Upcoming painting workshops include Abstract Painting on April 27 for $25 and Paint-Like-Picasso on May 4 and 25 for $35. Visit the website to register at www.firebrickgalleryandpotterystudio.com.

Angela Youngblood March 28, 2012 at 11:11 AM
Love this! What a great idea. And Laura, you are quite an artist, love the birds.
Laura Cassar March 28, 2012 at 11:29 AM
Thanks, Angela!
patricia ozybko March 28, 2012 at 11:33 AM
I love Firebrick Gallery. Christine makes every student feel like they're "at home." She's an inspiration to the entire community! I promise to return for another class!


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