Late Summer Catch-up!

Hiii, everybody!! It's summer catch-up time! It's been a scorcher this season and we've been busy enjoying the non-stop action. Here's a lil refresher of what we've been up to recently:

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A few weeks ago, Nancy and her husband had their first babysitting weekend with their granddaughter Lily, while her parents were on a short weekend trip in Nashville, TN. So, this means we are starting our catch-up with ADORABLE BABY PHOTOS!! Some of the weekend's activities included:

 All smiles at the Brookfield Zoo

All smiles at the Brookfield Zoo

They went to the Brookfield Zoo and to the park, talked about shoes, but they mostly just painted together!!

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Alright! Enough cuteness! Let's move on to some nitty-gritty stuff.  As you will find out at the end of this post, we got some visitors this month, but first we had to clean.

I will not show how clean the bathroom at the studio is now, but I will express how clean it is. You can see the original color of the tiles! It sparkles like a jewel! Our friend Zoe also came over to draw, but wound up vacuuming our floor with a dry-vac! Cleaning can be very meditative. Especially if the surface has been ignored for 2 decades!  Thank you, Zoe, for your determination and fierce cleaning skills. 

Now for the reason we cleaned: Nancy hosted a Bachelorette Party for our friend, Nicole. I could tell you more, but her lovely sister, Lindsey, wrote a blog recounting the experience in my absence.

Take it away!

Paint and Sip the Nancy Rosen Way

by Lindsey Cox

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When my sister suggested we paint vaginas for her bachelorette party, I was a bit confused.  After clarifying that we wouldn’t be literally painting our own, but an interpreted version of one on canvas, I was excited.  So, on the Friday night of the bachelorette weekend, I found myself and her 13 other friends being welcomed into Nancy Rosen’s art studio in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago.

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Nancy is the type of artist who looks like an artist.  She has wild, curly hair worn down, but swept away from her face, wears paint stains on her clothes, and moves comfortably through a room.  But, most importantly, her warm and welcoming smile and the glow of her eyes can make anyone feel like creative genius is possible. She has been painting her entire life, but most recently is the artist behind the popular Netflix show Grace and Frankie.  Whatever Lily Tomlin’s character creates on the show comes direct from Nancy’s studio.  So, in season two, when Frankie sells her vaginal lube made out of yams, Nancy needed to paint the vagina that would adorn the bottle.  Hence, she was the perfect guide for this event.

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These days, “paint and sips” or “drafts and crafts” are popular activities for bachelorette, birthday, or girl’s night out parties.  However, our experience with Nancy had more of a DIY feel, right down the the accoutrements. We brought in our own food and drink, including my sister’s favorite — Lou Malnati’s pizza and Casamigos Tequila.  We were in a working art studio, not a sterile space more akin to your elementary school art room. The studio smelled of oils and acrylics. There were bins of artwork in the front, shelves of paintings in the back, work unfinished that gave you a feel for the creative evolution happening in the space on a daily basis.  It was inspiring to be there.

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Most importantly, Nancy didn’t just show us one image and then have us copy it.  She showed us a few of the final paintings she did for Grace and Frankie as well as much of the inspiration she used to create them.  After setting us up with our own canvas and teaching us how to use oil bars (her preferred medium), we were set free to be as creative as we wanted.  All the while, Nancy’s smile and words of encouragement coached even the most hesitant artists among us to generate our vagina masterpiece.

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These days, bachelorette parties can be as elaborate as a wedding.  An entire industry has formed around them. But the experience my sister had of being surrounded by the friends and family that love and support her, while getting to engage in such a creative activity helped carry her through the wedding stress right to the altar.  And, the rest of us benefited as well. Just as one of her friends said as she vigorously blended the oil bar colors on her canvas, “this experience feels good for my soul.”