Seventy sociable parishioners and friends gathered at St. Kilian’s parish in Mission Viejo on Aug. 3 for an art event called “Paint & Sip SOME MORE.” They were there for fun art, not fine art.
The would-be artists came for a variety of reasons — art being only one of them.
“This is my very first time,” said Margo Moore. “I like art because I think of myself as being a little bit creative, but it’s also a chance to hang out with people who have similar beliefs because I’m Catholic and I’m hoping to meet friends.”
At the heart of the event was art instructor and fellow congregant Diane D’Agnolo and her pre-painted picture “Aspen Grove.” The group’s assignment was to re-create the image in their own way. Creativity was encouraged.
“It reminds me of my sister’s backyard in Michigan,” said Ellen Tarantino. “I’ll give it to her if it comes out good.”
PARTICIPANTS ATTEND TO THEIR ARTWORK DURING AN AUG. 3 PAINT NIGHT HELD AT ST. KILIAN’S PARISH IN MISSION VIEJO. PHOTO BY SPENCER GRANT/DIOCESE OF ORANGE
Laid out on dozens of folding tables under a canopy in the St. Kilian courtyard were basics for each participant who had paid the $30 fee: a blank canvas and a plastic glass of water to dilute paint and clean the two supplied brushes. On display were two versions of “Aspen Grove,” plus a blank canvas for Diane D’Agnolo to paint the scene again, step-by-step to guide the participants.
“It’s fun to watch everybody have fun and to know that I can facilitate that,” D’Agnolo explained. “All the artist education I give elsewhere about shading, dimension, design. That’s out! Here you see the results immediately, as soon as they start painting – it’s just fun.”
She added, “I have to be creative, I come by it naturally. I’m right and left brain and I love anything that stimulates the creative mind.”
Although a few men were present, it was mostly girls’ night out. D’Agnolo’s assistant Jan Jacobs said many participants come with a friend for a fun night.
For Diana Selecky, it was a family affair, as she attended with her daughter, sister, two sisters-in-law and niece.
“I’m not creative or artistic at all so mine’s going to be terrible but that’s okay,” she said.
Likewise, Susan Rose had modest ambitions.
“I can’t paint a stick figure, so this should be interesting,” she said. “I’m pretty new to the parish, so this gives me an opportunity to meet people and see them in a different light.”
The finished paintings varied from “Aspen Grove” look-alikes to creative flourishes like red blossoms. Some backgrounds turned out to be red rather than blue.
No problem. This was fun art — art for pleasure with no rules beyond having a good time.