GLASGOW – More than a dozen women layered paint and blended colors Tuesday as they brought their images of butterflies to life.
Local artist Sharon DeGiovanni taught the latest paint party at Mary Wood Weldon Memorial Library, showing her students, most of them adults, how to replicate a painting of a butterfly she had made that was bursting with vivid blues, greens and oranges flowing into one another.
Though there were a few ways to go about the process that DeGiovanni let the students use, most of the party’s attendees started by using a makeup sponge to paint a solid, bright green background on their 12-by-16-inch canvas board. From there, they took pieces of thin, almost transparent, tracing paper that had large butterflies drawn on them and transferred the images onto the canvases when the paint was dry by laying the paper down over the canvas and rubbing over the butterfly with sidewalk chalk.
Once the outline of the butterfly was transferred onto the canvas, the painting could begin.
The partygoers started with red at the edges of the wings and worked their way inward, blending some of the colors as they went.
Amy Tollison, manager of adult services at the library, said she began offering the paint parties because they appeared to be popular. “I tried to look around and see what was trending and this seemed like something we could adapt that people would enjoy,” she said.
So far, the library’s paint parties, which cost $5 so the staff can buy the needed supplies, have been popular, Tollison said.
DeGiovanni said she has taught two previous paint parties at the library, agreeing to oversee the events because Tollison asked her to.
She said she’s found the class relaxing and added that it seems to be relaxing for the other participants as well.
“It’s just a fun night. No pressure,” she said. “People seem to enjoy painting and they relax and de-stress.”
The library’s paint parties have been popular so far, with each party reaching its maximum occupancy of 15 and requiring a waiting list, DeGiovanni said.
“We always have a filled group with a waiting list of people that get called when they can come in because they seem to like it, so as long as they like it, I’ll keep doing it,” she said.
Denise Combs, who had never attended a paint party before, said she came Tuesday because she thought it would be a good way to learn some painting techniques to share with the art teacher at Savoyard Christian Academy in Metcalfe County, where she works part time.
“It looked like there was some techniques I had never seen before, and I teach at a Christian school where our art teacher has been looking for some new activities to do with the students,” Combs said. “So I’ve come to do this so I can go back and share with her.”
Combs said that she was interested in trying the paint party because she’s looking for things to do now that she’s working part time.
Through painting her butterfly’s colorful wings, which involved a lot of color blending, Combs said she has learned the “scumbling” technique, which involves building layers of color on top of each other.
Combs said that she’s enjoyed the paint party because it’s relaxing.
“You get to spend time with some other adults and do something to get your brain occupied with things other than menial tasks and chores,” she said.
Nearby, Deeann Slinker-Phelps was painting with her family.
Slinker-Phelps came to a previous paint party at the library with her daughter Liberty Phelps, 9, in October.
This time, she brought Liberty Phelps as well as her other daughter Emmaline Phelps, 12, and her mother, Emma Slinker.
“I just (wanted to) spend time with my family and it’s just kind of fun to paint and play around and create something,” Slinker-Phelps said.
She said painting the butterfly was more challenging than painting the nighttime scene featuring a full moon and leafless tree she painted in October because the butterfly had a greater level of detail.
“It’s always interesting to watch how you have that to look at,” she said, pointing to DeGiovani’s original painting, “and everybody gets the same pattern and everybody’s is different at the end. Even if they follow the exact same colors that she used it’s still going to have everybody’s own personal touches.”
Slinker-Phelps’ family took to the painting with enthusiasm as well, particularly Liberty Phelps, who cycled through a range of Bob Ross quotes as she painted.
“She likes watching Bob Ross so she wanted to come and be Bob Ross,” Slinker-Phelps said. “She’s been quoting ‘happy accidents’ all night.”