I was inspired. As I drove north on I-95, I couldn’t help but recall the profound simplicity of some of the contemporary art I experienced at Art Basel in Miami Beach.
How hard could it be to unleash my inner Rembrandt or Picasso? Well, probably pretty hard. But, Jackson Pollock, with his mesmerizing large-scale works characterized by random scatterings of paint on canvas, again, how hard could that have been?
I was determined to find out and did what modern people do, I consulted the Internet. Siri was especially helpful as traffic came to a momentary halt on the freeway. After a few moments, she informed me the Armory Art Center in West Palm Beach offers a course called, “Pouring Paint.”
Prepared to take the art world by storm, I arrived only to have my expectations dashed. Our instructor, Roxene Sloate began the class by sharing some examples of contemporary artists and then demonstrating the basic techniques. She poured the paint on the canvas, tilted it in all directions, splattered another color with a brush, muddled sections with a quick spray of water and it looked amazing. That’s why she was the teacher.
My classmates included retirees, a housewife and three teens taking a departure from their usual graffiti art classes. We poured and tilted and sprayed and splattered and our canvases looked like we poured and tilted and sprayed and splattered. We all quickly agreed it wasn’t as easy as it looked.
Wealthy collectors aren’t going to be offering me millions and, well, my masterpiece is going to be lucky to earn a spot on the bathroom wall. But, it was fun and practice does make perfect.
LOCAL ART CLASSES
Feeling creative? Here’s your chance:
Armory Art Center
1700 Parker Ave., West Palm Beach
Situated in a stylish art deco building that once housed an armory, Armory Art Center offers nearly 200 classes and workshops ranging from painting and fine arts to ceramics and glass. The pottery and jewelry-making courses are especially popular, drawing students of all ages from youth to seniors. The center also operates a Lake Worth annex and gallery.
Bonnet House Museum & Gardens
900 N. Birch Rd., Fort Lauderdale
What better setting for a creative journey than the scenic—and historic—Bonnet House. Explore the fine arts of calligraphy, acrylics and watercolors in courses that range from three to six weeks. All classes are taught outdoors surrounded by the luscious landscapes, contrasting colors and tropical motifs of the Fort Lauderdale Beach estate. Class space is limited.
Hollywood Hot Glass
One Young Circle, Hollywood
Located next to the stage at ArtsPark in Hollywood’s Young Circle, Hollywood Hot Glass offers free demonstrations on Mondays, Thursday, Fridays and Saturdays, but for a small fee, aspiring artists can actually blow their own paperweight, flower or bowl with one of the expert glassmakers. The unforgettable experience is hot—the furnace blasts at temperatures up to 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit.
Men’s Art Event
The Great Project in M.A.S.S. Arts District, Fort Lauderdale
These fun art parties feature nude male models for short and long poses twice each month. Whether your medium is pencil, charcoal or oils, all levels of artists are encouraged to participate and explore your creativity. You must supply your own art supplies and reservations are recommended, as space is limited. Cost is $30 in advance and $35 at the door.