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Old January 11 2013, 07:59 AM   #1
Kommander
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Painters: Need help impressing a girl.

As I mentioned in one or two other threads, I met a girl at the New Year's Eve party I went to, and things are going well. Going well as far as her and I interacting, anyway.

She's a painter, or was, anyway. While she loves it, she hasn't painted anything in over a year. Things have been rough for her lately. Among other things, a back injury kept her pretty much immobile for a good chunk of last year. She only recently recovered. Because of this, she hasn't felt inspired to paint. Me being the awesome person that I am, I've decided I'm going to help her get the inspiration back and get painting again.

For my first attempt, I want to surprise her with a basic set-up she'd need and try to get her to paint something on the spot. The problem is, I've never painted artistically before, so I don't know what I'm doing:

-- What supplies do I need to buy? Paint, canvas, brushes, and an easel obviously. What kind of paint should I get and what colors? What types of brushes might she want to use? I'd like to try to get stuff that's a little better than what she has (probably pretty basic), but I don't really need high-end stuff. I'm thinking I'd like to spend $200 or less, unless I need to spend more.

-- What do I need to do to get everything ready to use? I want her to be able to just walk up and start painting. How do I get the canvas ready? That kind of stuff.

-- What do I need to do to pull this off?

I'd imagine the people at the art store can help me with a lot of this, but maybe not all of it.

Given how my last thread about trying to impress a girl went:

Doubty McBuzzkill wrote:
It's too early in the relationship to be doing stuff like this. You're going to creep her out and she'll stop talking to you. Just do normal date stuff. Be a totally boring person and not yourself. Even though she's just as eccentric as you are, you should be normal and boring because that's what all women want men to be like because women are all the same and they want all men to be the same and you have no idea what you're doing.
I'm not asking if I should do this or if it's a good idea. It's totally a good idea and I'm going to do it. Even if I can't get her inspired and she doesn't paint anything, she will still love it if I do this. However, I am going to wait a bit. I should probably get a few more dates out of the way before I try something like this. Also, shut up, you have no idea what you're talking about, and I am awesome.

EDIT: About that previous thread. I told the girl involved what I was doing with the story. She said she picked up on it, through what I did was funny, and that it totally would have worked if that's what she was doing (i.e.: if she wasn't in a monogamous relationship). So, everyone who doubted me was wrong.
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Old January 11 2013, 09:36 AM   #2
Rhubarbodendron
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Re: Painters: Need help impressing a girl.

I agree with Doubty. If you buy things and then practically force her to paint you will completely put her off. Inspiration is not something you can switch on and off like a light. You are trying to force her to paint. To an artist that's almost like rape.


Go at it from a different angle:
tell her you'd like to learn how to paint and ask her for help and advice.
This way you can be sure you get the right stuff, you'll lure her into painting without being obvious and teaching you will make her feel relaxed (contrary to you forcing her hand).
You must keep in mind that inspiration can't be triggered. It comes and goes as it likes. Picture it as a wild animal. You can not force it to come to you. All you can do is invite it to stay by providing nice surroundings for it. And if you're lucky, it'll stay.

(Excuse me being so blunt, but I fear this is the only way I can make you realize what you're about to do: if you keep lacking every sense of tact and diplomacy and keep applying sheer force instead, you will never get any woman, let alone an artist. You're using a battering ram to open a crate of delicate antique china!)
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Old January 11 2013, 09:48 AM   #3
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Re: Painters: Need help impressing a girl.

To quote Mr. Spock, "I too agree, you should rethink your strategy."

The whole idea reminds me of the scene in The Vow when Tatum's character puts this whole studio together for McAdams' character's sculpting in attempt to do the same thing: get her back into what she used to love doing...and it ended up backfiring because she felt pressured and forced into it.

I like the idea of asking about painting yourself. Not only will you show interest (please only do this if you really do have interest...don't fake it) but it will give her a reason to get back in front of a canvas for more of a reason then because she feels obligated. Making someone feel obligated to do something for you is perhaps the one of the most unromantic things ever.
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Old January 11 2013, 09:51 AM   #4
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Re: Painters: Need help impressing a girl.

Ok the first thing you should do is watch Bridesmaids, specifically the scene where Chris O'Dowd's character decides to encourage kristen wiig's character to bake again...

Seriously I'm not an artist but I can imagine being presented with a blank canvas and told to paint would be the least inspiring thing ever...

Instead why not take her to inspiring places, visit galleries together, check out great architecture or visit the countryside, anywhere there are stunning views. If she has been a painter for many years she likely either has the stuff she needs, or knows where to get it (and likely knows what kind of art supplies she needs. Does she paint on canvas or board, does she paint using oil or acrylics, or is she more into chalks/pastels.)

I'm a writer, and if a girl I was dating presented me with a typewriter I wouldn't think 'Gee that's sweet', I'd think 'shit I'm dating Kathy Bates!'
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Old January 11 2013, 09:52 AM   #5
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Re: Painters: Need help impressing a girl.

Do you know what sorts of paints she uses? Like does she do oil , acrylic? The supplies will depend a lot based on that. And paint can get very expensive (obviously canvas can too). I don't know what the best art supply stores are by you but if you are going to get stuff from a place like Michaels, stalk the coupons and start picking up things on sale each week. I got two tabletop easels for a steal last year by doing that, nothing fancy.

I'm guessing TSQ can help you out with specifics more than I can, since I just paint every now and then for fun. But one thing to consider is that you often can't force this sort of thing. I've been wanting to paint the past few weeks because I've finally got my own place and I think it would be a great outlet to deal with stuff going on in my personal life. But I just don't feel like painting. And I would hate it if someone put an easel and canvas in front of me and wanted me to paint. It would ruin everything about it for me.

So, I'm not trying to be negative nelly, just saying that you need to consider that she might feel the same way.

Oh, one thing I did last year was this painting "class" where they just show you how to reproduce a famous painting. I mean, you don't have to do just that, and I kind of went off the path rather quickly. But you could drink at the event, there wasn't pressure to be especially creative, they provided all the materials, and I had a good time with my friend. Look around and see if there's anything like that maybe?
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Old January 11 2013, 09:58 AM   #6
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Re: Painters: Need help impressing a girl.

Starkers wrote: View Post
Ok the first thing you should do is watch Bridesmaids, specifically the scene where Chris O'Dowd's character decides to encourage kristen wiig's character to bake again...
That's the other movie I was trying to remember.
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Old January 11 2013, 11:49 AM   #7
Kommander
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Re: Painters: Need help impressing a girl.

Oh, this thread is going to be fun... Where's Gaith? I enjoyed arguing with him in the last one. We need teacake too.

Rhubarbodendron wrote: View Post
I agree with Doubty.
No, don't do that! Doubty sucks and is boring.

Rhubarbodendron wrote: View Post
If you buy things and then practically force her to paint you will completely put her off. Inspiration is not something you can switch on and off like a light. You are trying to force her to paint. To an artist that's almost like rape.
Force? I didn't say anything about force. Bold encouragement is what I'm going for. I am an artist, and I know how creativity works. Well, more specifically, I know what prevents it from working. I'm not going to force her. I know there's a good chance this won't result in a painting. I'll present an opportunity, offer some encouragement, and see what happens. If she doesn't paint, that's fine. I know enough about her to know that she'd appreciate me doing something like this and not find it off-putting. Even if it doesn't result in a painting, it will help.

Rhubarbodendron wrote: View Post
Go at it from a different angle:
tell her you'd like to learn how to paint and ask her for help and advice.
It wouldn't work. She already knows I have no talent for visual art. Showing an interest in her painting, however, is a good idea. Which, I have and I am. I'm doing other things to encourage her. When I do the Surprise Art Set thing, it won't be completely unexpected.

Rhubarbodendron wrote: View Post
(Excuse me being so blunt, but I fear this is the only way I can make you realize what you're about to do: if you keep lacking every sense of tact and diplomacy and keep applying sheer force instead, you will never get any woman, let alone an artist. You're using a battering ram to open a crate of delicate antique china!)
Do I really strike you as someone who would be offended by bluntness? Anyway, you make a good point. However, there's plenty of room between tact and diplomacy and sheer force. Boldness doesn't mean lacking tact. She knows I do things like this, has seen some of it, and definitely likes it. If that weren't the case, I wouldn't be thinking about doing this. Also, you know nothing of my battering ram technique. I'm rather good with that thing.

Starkers wrote: View Post
Instead why not take her to inspiring places, visit galleries together, check out great architecture or visit the countryside, anywhere there are stunning views. If she has been a painter for many years she likely either has the stuff she needs, or knows where to get it (and likely knows what kind of art supplies she needs. Does she paint on canvas or board, does she paint using oil or acrylics, or is she more into chalks/pastels.)
Good ideas. This is going to take some effort and more than one attempt. Even if she does paint something when I present the opportunity, it'll only be a start, and I'll have to do more to keep her painting.

Starkers wrote: View Post
I'm a writer, and if a girl I was dating presented me with a typewriter I wouldn't think 'Gee that's sweet', I'd think 'shit I'm dating Kathy Bates!'
I'm a writer as well. If a woman gave me a typewriter, it might work. While I've used typewriters before, I was mostly just playing with them as a kid, I've never actually written using one. It would depend on how she went about it though. As for this girl I'm dating, I'm not just going to throw her in front of some canvas and command her to paint. I plan on setting the mood first. Maybe doing one of the things you suggested beforehand would be a good idea.

Kestra wrote: View Post
Do you know what sorts of paints she uses? Like does she do oil , acrylic? The supplies will depend a lot based on that. And paint can get very expensive (obviously canvas can too). I don't know what the best art supply stores are by you but if you are going to get stuff from a place like Michaels, stalk the coupons and start picking up things on sale each week. I got two tabletop easels for a steal last year by doing that, nothing fancy.
That was one of the questions I forgot in the OP, what information I'd need from her. So far she's only shown me cell phone pictures of her work. If I can get her to show me some actual paintings I can figure out most of what I need to know. It would be best if I can get a look at her art supplies, but that might be difficult as she's not actively using them.

Kestra wrote: View Post
But one thing to consider is that you often can't force this sort of thing. I've been wanting to paint the past few weeks because I've finally got my own place and I think it would be a great outlet to deal with stuff going on in my personal life. But I just don't feel like painting. And I would hate it if someone put an easel and canvas in front of me and wanted me to paint. It would ruin everything about it for me.
Yes, I know I have to be careful about how I do this. That's why I'm planning now even though I'm not going to do it for another month or so. That, and it'll be a few weeks until I can afford art supplies. Even if you didn't just say you would hate something like this, if I was dating you, I probably wouldn't do this. I think that she herself would appreciate something like this, not that all artists in general would. Actually, I'm pretty sure most would hate it.

Kestra wrote: View Post
Oh, one thing I did last year was this painting "class" where they just show you how to reproduce a famous painting. I mean, you don't have to do just that, and I kind of went off the path rather quickly. But you could drink at the event, there wasn't pressure to be especially creative, they provided all the materials, and I had a good time with my friend. Look around and see if there's anything like that maybe?
Funny you should mention that, as I was thinking of doing this. Taking Creative Writing last semester got me writing again, so I thought taking a painting class might get her painting again. I was going to suggest it the next time I see her.

For the record: I'm just going to suggest it. I'm not going to sign her up for a class myself or reanimate Salvadore Dali's corpse and hire him to give her private lessons or anything.

Hmm... no, I'll just suggest it. I may, however, decide to resurrect Dali for other purposes.
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Old January 11 2013, 12:04 PM   #8
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Re: Painters: Need help impressing a girl.

That's cool. It seems like you're pretty set on it so I was just trying to offer a few different pieces of advice.
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Old January 11 2013, 12:53 PM   #9
Rhubarbodendron
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Re: Painters: Need help impressing a girl.

Kommander wrote: View Post
Rhubarbodendron wrote: View Post
I agree with Doubty.
No, don't do that! Doubty sucks and is boring
you're just jealous

Well, since you have pretty much decided your strategy, how about asking her to paint a portrait of you? That way she'd feel a bit less obliged and under pressure. And it'd at least add a remotely romantic touch to the whole affair.

You could offer to buy all the necessary ingredients (paints, canvas, brushes, paint thinner, etc) for her and ask her to give you a wishlist/shopping list. Ths way you could be certain to buy exactly what she wants.
Be warned, though: painting materials are quite expensive, particularly if she prefers oil painting ( I do that myself - you wouldn't believe the prices! 10 bucks for a 3 tablespoon tube of lead white!). It quickly sums up to $150-200 only for the materials for 1 picture.
You're lucky if she prefers watercolours - they are a good deal cheaper. Still you'd have to spend about $80 for the basics. If you go for the really good brushes, you can easily spend $20 on one.

You'd propably be cheaper off if you'd invite her to a really exclusive exhibition and dinner. And maybe she'd like that even better.

How about going to the 555 arts exhibition? (Every Wednesday from 13:00) http://www.555arts.org/event-calender/
for general info have a look at http://www.555arts.org/history/
Modern, young, fresh and avantgarde art all thrown together - this might be just the thing to inspire her and in this huge choice she is sure to find something she likes.

Or how about something classical: the Rembrandt exhibition? http://www.dia.org/calendar/exhibition.aspx?id=2306 By looking at someone else's paintings a painter can learn a lot about the painting technique used by the artist. And when does a normal person get a chance to see a Rembrandt up close?
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Last edited by Rhubarbodendron; January 11 2013 at 01:04 PM.
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Old January 11 2013, 03:22 PM   #10
Ood Sigma
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Re: Painters: Need help impressing a girl.

How about taking her to a painting class... Painting With A Twist is a good one, and it looks like there are two in your area. I participated in one last weekend and even though I'm no artist it was fun and would be good for a date.

Of course everyone in the class is painting the same painting, so it may not allow her to be completely free to paint what she wants, but it's relatively cheap (usually $35-40) and could get her in the mood to paint again.
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Old January 11 2013, 03:25 PM   #11
Robert D. Robot
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Re: Painters: Need help impressing a girl.

Starkers wrote: View Post
.....Instead why not take her to inspiring places, visit galleries together, check out great architecture or visit the countryside, anywhere there are stunning views. If she has been a painter for many years she likely either has the stuff she needs, or knows where to get it (and likely knows what kind of art supplies she needs. Does she paint on canvas or board, does she paint using oil or acrylics, or is she more into chalks/pastels.)....
Starkers' suggestion is excellent, I feel, Kommnader! It would be very enjoyable and inspiring for both of you.

I am an artist, and I hate it when people ask (or expect!) me to create art for them on the spot. Also, not every artist is interested/comfortable in being asked to teach another to paint, so I would dismiss that idea (as you have already said that you have done). And most artists have very specific tastes in choosing paints. It is not as simple as picking out just 'a red', 'a blue', etc., or buying a paint set. Color mixing to create the colors one wishes to put on a canvas involves an artist's experience and particular tastes in choosing paints as they develop as a painter.

I'd say have a nice hike or a stroll through a museum together. That sounds like an excellent idea to me. During those strolls discussions about her art and interests could be the best inspiration for her to get back to creating again....
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Old January 11 2013, 05:03 PM   #12
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Re: Painters: Need help impressing a girl.

Robert D. Robot wrote: View Post
I'd say have a nice hike or a stroll through a museum together. That sounds like an excellent idea to me. During those strolls discussions about her art and interests could be the best inspiration for her to get back to creating again....
Can I second this? Gallery strolls are one of my favorite dates
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Old January 11 2013, 05:09 PM   #13
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Re: Painters: Need help impressing a girl.

Depends on what kind of paint she uses, watercolor, acrylics, or oils. The supplies for each will be very different.
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Old January 11 2013, 07:52 PM   #14
Tora Ziyal
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Re: Painters: Need help impressing a girl.

Do you know for sure that she doesn't still have supplies that she just isn't using?
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Old January 11 2013, 07:57 PM   #15
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Re: Painters: Need help impressing a girl.

I go through phases myself: I don't draw or paint at all for several months at a time, but then have a massive creative spurt 2 to 3 times per year, lasting 2 weeks to a month at a time, and during which I can produce dozens of drawings and/or paintings. Maybe she just doesn't feel like painting.
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