Laura Ault for NewCanaanite.com – February 10, 2022
As a grown woman who still draws the sun as a yellow ball wearing sunglasses, I get a little shy around art classes. But if we all went about doing only what we’re comfortable doing, none of us would be very interesting. So, inspired by a friend taking a series of painting classes, I bought my husband a one-day painting class for Christmas at the Silvermine Art Center and figured I’d tag along, too.
Our real estate agent pointed Silvermine out to us when we looked at houses in New Canaan eight years ago, and we loved that it was here. “We’ll go there all the time!” “We’ll become notable sculptors!” gave way, over eight years, to “oh yeah, we should definitely check that place out.” I regret our delay. It’s impossible to overestimate the value of a century-old resource dedicated to art education–for children, for skilled adults, and, yes, for dilettantes. The Silvermine course catalog is incredibly dense with deep dives into whole artistic disciplines, like printmaking, drawing, the jubilantly-named (and super-intriguing) “A Day to Weld!” and ceramics. I must assume the ceramics teachers have a ban on couples reenacting the pottery wheel scene from Ghost in their classes, much the way you can’t play “Stairway to Heaven” in a Guitar Center, but there’s only one way to find out, cowboy.
When our Fluid Acrylic Pours class met Saturday, a dozen of us learned an interesting abstract painting technique we didn’t know before. You overturn a cup with of thinned acrylic paint onto a canvas to let gravity and fluid dynamics do the rest. Turns out, my husband has an excellent eye for color and composition. Am I an expert? Absolutely not. But was it fun, and more than a little romantic, to spend a Saturday learning something about someone about whom I thought I knew everything?