Group painting allows creative expression in social setting

Students engage in group art sessions in order to socialize and express creativity


By Claire Boone

Spending the morning together on Saturday, March 31, junior Caroline Rutledge and senior Hailey Stelle paint pictures as a way to disconnect from technology and instead better connect with one another. “I think other people should get together to paint because it gives them time to get off their phones, just find beauty in the simplest thing and paint it,” Rutledge said.

Tricia Drumm and Lexi Flipse

Surrounded by various paints, brushes and blank canvases, senior Hailey Stelle and junior Caroline Rutledge sit at Stelle’s kitchen table, brainstorming ideas of what they should paint.

By Claire Boone
Holding two of her recently completed art pieces, sophomore Sophia Ralston displays her paintings on Monday, April 2. “Painting’s really not that hard,” Ralston said. “You can paint anything.”

While many students are familiar with the idea of painting, several students have put a new twist on the classic art form by inviting friends over to add a more social aspect to the activity.

When painting on people’s backs became popular a couple years ago, Stelle and Rutledge decided to start painting with each other for fun. While Stelle and Rutledge initially “didn’t sit down and just want to paint,” they’ve come to want to paint every once in a while.

“We just find it something fun to do while we’re hanging out,” Stelle said. “It’s something fun to do and we can improve on it, so that’s kind of fun to see that side of it.”

Because her mom is an art teacher, sophomore Annie Bogart has maintained an interest in art from a young age. Today, painting with her friends is just one way for her to express her creative side.

“I’ve always been one to doodle and my neighbors have too,” Bogart said. “They come over and we Pinterest a lot of things and we paint examples for [my mom’s] class.”

According to Bogart, no two sessions are alike, with each one producing different ideas and ways they can experiment with different artistic pieces. Sometimes she and her friends will paint on a canvas; other times they’ll paint on their phone cases or legs.

By Claire Boone
After looking for inspiration on Pinterest, senior Hailey Stelle reaches for more paint on Saturday, March 31.

“We’ll start on one piece we have in mind [and] by the end, we’ll have 20 different things,” Bogart said. “It’s mostly a free-for-all thing, just being creative.”

Despite having been involved in art for a while, Bogart contends that a painting session does not usually require extensive amounts of skill.

By Claire Boone
Painting an Easter-themed picture on Saturday, March 31, junior Caroline Rutledge focuses on her brush strokes.

“The only thing you have to have is some sort of [creativity] in you, some sort of idea of what you want to do,” Bogart said. “You don’t have to be talented; Lord knows I’m not.”

Stelle concurs with Bogart, especially “if you want to copy things or just do it for fun, I don’t think you need any skill to get started.”

“It’s really fun to get to try different things,” Stelle said. “It’s cool to see how your [art] compares to [the ones on Pinterest] and you can make it your own and just do whatever you want with it.”

Sophomore Sophia Ralston, who says she has always painted in group settings, also enjoys the artistic freedom that painting allows.

“You can kind of just do anything and you can customize your own stuff and make decor,” Ralston said. “It’s really relaxing [and] if you get a big group of people to do it, it’s really fun.

Bogart agrees that painting with a group is good for de-stressing, and overall a socially and artistically stimulating activity to take part in with her friends.

“It’s really stress-relieving,” Bogart said. “During the winter, it’s a really great thing to do because it’s cold outside and you have to always stay inside, which really sucks. It’s calming, [so] you get some good conversation out of it, too.”

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