Students enthusiastic to paint started rushing into the room right at 7, and the tables filled instantly. Luckily, my friend got there early enough to secure a seat for me.

I selected my paints and plopped down in a chair, trying to decide what my masterpiece should be. Being the most un-artsy person ever, I decided to copy the mountain-scape that was sitting on the table at the front of the room.

Despite my looming calculus exam and ten different Spanish assignments, I spent my Tuesday night relaxed, painting a little canvas with blue mountains, evergreen trees and a starry sky at MAP’s “Bob Ross and Chill.”

Students came to Armstrong to paint happy little trees and ease some stress as final exams approach. With slow music playing in the background and Rice Krispie Treats dipped in frosting to look like paintbrushes, the night was a hit.

Throughout the night, the Bob Ross cutout loomed in the corner, wearing a flannel and a curly wig. It was almost as if the real Bob Ross was in the room… almost.

MAP member Austin Craf is credited with coming up with the idea for the event.

“It’s part of our craft series. I wanted students to have an outlet to be creative and let some stress out and when you think of being creative and relaxed, what’s better than Bob Ross?” Craf said. “I just wanted people to come and create something that they could take home with them, no matter how good it is.”

Once I started painting, I understood why this was such a good idea. It was therapeutic to do something besides worry about schoolwork. We’re at the point in the semester where classes are speeding up, and it feels like the workload has doubled as we get closer to finals.

The atmosphere at this event provided a temporary escape from the rush.

I painted longer than I should have, invested in the mediocre landscape on my canvas. After a while, the girl next to me began making me feel very self-conscious in my artistic ability with her perfectly painted masterpiece. The lake she had created in the center of the canvas was an identical reflection of the clouds and sky in the upper portion of the piece, and I could see individual pieces of bark on her redwood trees.

With a little investigation, I learned that she was an art minor. Her superiority was intimidating, but I was enjoying myself too much to give up.

The people across the table from me resorted to finger-painting early into the process, their fingers stained gray-blue by the 15-minute mark. This reminded me of my kindergarten days, all my friends at one table, painting indiscernible objects onto thin sheets of paper, using only our fingers.

You’re never too old to finger paint.

Another girl enjoyed it so much that she even mentioned that she may do a painting social just like this for her club next week.

The environment was so good for chatting with friends and meeting a couple new people. The event ultimately turned into a way for everyone to vent about how much homework they had to do, while simultaneously avoiding said homework. Is productive procrastination a real thing?

toolemb@miamioh.edu

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