Learning to Paint in Paradise, California

As adults, most of us have embraced the notion at some point that we should focus our time and energy on activities we excel at, and steer clear of those we might not be very good at. 


Learning to paint in Paradise. Photo by Charish Badzinski.

In the process, we sacrifice the chance to learn something new, or at the very least, learn something new about ourselves.

How. Utterly. Ridiculous. 

One of our palettes. Photo by Charish Badzinski.

Where it comes from, I don’t know. Perhaps it’s an unhappy byproduct of being a part of (what a dear friend calls, with wide-eyed theatrics) “the greatest imperialist nation in the world.” (Check out her blog here.)  

Or, maybe it’s our own fear of failure. 

Similarly, another wise friend points out how silly it is that if we were bad at something at one point, we forever cross it off our lists. 

Recently, several of us had the opportunity to shed these unhealthy thought patterns, by learning to paint with acrylics in Paradise, California. The mimosas helped. Few of us lay claim to having artistic talent, and fewer of us have ever painted as adults. 

This is what happens when you don’t know what to do with a paint brush.
No harm done! Photo by Charish Badzinski.

We didn’t let that stop us. 

Some of us jumped right in, slapping paint around Jackson Pollock-style. Others stood paralyzed, not knowing what to do. Worried that we might not be good at it. Fearful we might make fools of ourselves. Most of us judged our own work too harshly. But all of us found something to appreciate in each other’s paintings.
One of our efforts. Photo by Charish Badzinski.

What a tremendous gift it is for a friend to shine a light on the beauty they see in our world, so that we might better see it ourselves. 

Lovely painting day participant displaying one of our efforts. Photo by Charish Badzinski.

Better still, to throw out those self-imposed limitations and see the inherent beauty in trying.

A transformational thing happened on the way to completing our paintings: we set ourselves free. Acrylics are a fun way to experiment with this, as you can change your painting entirely by layering the colors. You can try as many times as you like, without consequence. It is an evolution of learning, captured forever on canvas, serving as a reminder that no matter what our age, there are still new wonders to explore, and newness in the old.

Paradigms shifted. Suddenly, the world became our canvas. 

Butterfly by tattoo artist. Hippie flowers and butterfly embellishments by novice.
Photo by Charish Badzinski.
For some of us, it was a one time affair. Me? I can’t wait to pack my little nest with blank canvases, brushes and acrylics, to see what comes of it. To open the door for something that until now has been crouched in the recesses of my mind, hungering to be set free.

What new experiences have you embraced as an adult? What are you good at being “bad” at? 


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Charish Badzinski is an explorer, foodie and award-winning travel and food writer. When she isn’t working to build her blog: Rollerbag Goddess Rolls the World, she applies her worldview to her small business, providing strategic communications, media relations and writing support to individuals and organizations. 

Find Charish on Twitter: @charishb
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Creative Commons License
Rollerbag Goddess Rolls the World by Charish Badzinski is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at rollerbaggoddess.blogspot.com.
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