Boba-Fueled Brushstroke Mishaps

“After adding the branches on the side, your painting should start to look like this.” I looked at her painting and then I looked at mine. Then I squinted as I looked at hers again, and then I looked at mine again. Nope, mine didn’t look like that at all. In fact, mine didn’t look like anyone else’s in the class. Why did mine look different? Was I painting the right thing? My creation at this paint-and-sip was quickly turning into something that should be placed in the back of a dark basement after being sealed in a black garbage bag. 

At most paint-and-sips, the beverage of choice is wine because there’s something elegant and inspirational about painting while sipping some Sauvignon Blanc. Since I don’t drink alcohol, I wanted a beverage that would stimulate my creative neurons as well as wine, so I chose boba tea. I don’t know what Kung Fu Tea put in my mango slush, but apparently, it altered my ability to create a decent painting. The more I sipped, the more my painting looked like the result of a hallucinogenic trip. I blame the boba.

The first step from the instructor was to cover the entire canvas in goldish-tan paint, which seemed relatively simple. I started from the bottom of the canvas and worked my way up, but the more up I painted, the more down my abilities declined. Somehow, I painted overlapping dark spots in the middle of the canvas that I could not correct. I should have brought some Bio-Oil dark spot corrector to make the painting look decent again, but I did not foresee this disaster. This was the beginning of a rapid downward spiral. I blame Bio-Oil for not being there when I needed it the most. 

The next step was to outline the tree stump and paint details onto it. I drew three slender tree stumps in the middle of the canvas, but then I took some creative liberties that I shouldn’t have. I sent one tree stump curving to the left and one to the right. Suddenly, my painting went from resembling tree stumps to looking like noodles or chicken feet. I wanted to go into the Edit menu, select “Undo” and then try again, but unfortunately this wasn’t the Photoshop that I was used to and there was no turning back. I blame Adobe Photoshop for not having an undo feature for real-life creations.

Next, we were instructed to use a small brush to paint some red items on the bottom of the painting. I resolved for this to be the beginning of my redemption arc and I was determined to use the red paint to fix all of the ugly that I created. I painted red splotches across the entire bottom of the canvas around the chicken foot tree stumps. I knew that the red was supposed to be blood, so I charged ahead and made it look as authentic as possible. I thought that I did a phenomenal job when I looked at it and it looked like real blood, but then my opinion changed when the instructor walked around to check on everyone’s paintings. When she saw mine, she let out a little giggle. “Wait, why are you laughing at mine?” “I’m not laughing,” she said, as she laughed. While I thought that I fixed the painting with the authentic-looking blood, it turns out that the “blood” was supposed to be red flowers. This blood became a metaphorical symbol of me killing my painting. This was bad. I blame my second-grade art teacher for teaching me how to paint blood too well.

From this point until the end of the class, my painting progressively became worse. In the end, my painting looked nothing like it was supposed to. I eventually learned that it was intended to depict a few beautiful trees in the middle of a forest on a vibrant fall day, but instead mine looked like a deformed chicken foot rising like the phoenix through a pool of blood into the sky while being electrocuted. There was no one left to blame for this disasterpiece, so I was forced to take accountability for it. 

Even though I took too many artistic liberties with my painting and it turned out very odd, I loved the experience. For me, painting is way more enjoyable when you break every single rule that you’re supposed to follow. I used the wrong colors, painted the wrong things, used the wrong techniques, drank the wrong beverage, and messed up every step of the way, but yet had the best time I’ve ever had while painting. Someday I may attempt to revive this painting and make it into something less eerie, but until then, this unique work of art will remain as a testament to why you should never, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, never drink mango boba slush at a paint-and-sip.

  1. October 26, 2023 - Reply

    Painting is supposed to be fun and it look like you were having a ball. Wait until you try finger painting you’re going to love it! Beside you’re painting I like it!

    • November 3, 2023 - Reply


      You’re absolutely right! Also, finger painting sounds like it will be messy and hilarious– will try it next!