This visit to Bucuti and Tara Beach Resort, I noticed something new was being offered to guests, a Driftwood Workshop. Each Sunday during happy hour at the Sand Bar, they feature local artisans which is always fun. It’s where I met Maria Onni, who teaches the driftwood painting class. One look at her work, you are enchanted and want to try your hand….I signed up the following day for the next class.
Maria is one of those artists who has natural talent and loves to repurpose driftwood, sea glass and other found items. Check out some of her creations:
I arrived for the class, set up in the Tara Lounge and learned it would be just one of the Bucuti and Tara Resort staff and myself for this class. To my delight, it was Nicole (who I’ve enjoyed getting to know on both of our visits), who was the other student. I loved the one on one attention Maria was able to give us as we learned how to work with molding clay (making eyes, noses and mouths) and mixing the acrylic paints as we fashioned our driftwood creations. We each made two works of art and it was such a fun way to spend an afternoon. Both Maria and Nicole are interesting and lovely, young women who I was fortunate to get to know over the two hours we spent together. I would take this class again if offered on my next trip and would recommend it to anyone visiting Bucuti and Tara Beach Resort. A truly fun day to be sure and special memories of this vacation!
My squid with a sea glass eye!
“Oooh I love Aruba”
Nicole and I working diligently on our projects as Maria gives instructions
Maria Onni sells her works of art in a kiosk in the highrise hotel area (across from Playa Linda) as well as teaching these classes. She is so talented, if you are in Aruba, check her out!
For those who follow my blog, you’ve seen references to my lifelong BFF who has been integral in injecting fun into my retirement life.
Yesterday, she gathered a group of family and friends for a painting party which is a new trend but the first time I’ve attended one. Held at Picasso’s Grapevine, the hostess brings in wine and snacks, the venue provides ice buckets, cups, corkscrews and the like. As we signed in we were given our own easel and canvas. She’d pre-selected our subject for painting which was on display – a kind of Van Gogh-esque Sunflower scene. In front of each easel were smocks, a large, medium and small brush, a cup of water (to clean our brushes) and a paper plate palate of acrylic paints in white, black, royal blue, burnt sienna, yellow, orange, red, green and purple. Our instructor, Heather, started us off with a toast and as we raised our glasses, she explained the process. At first we were all very quiet as we gripped our brushes with precision, getting the feel of painting. As time went on and wine was consumed, we loosened up. The painting became more intricate and the laughter ratcheted up as our group walked around to look at how others were interpreting the same instruction.
Over all, it was a blast and even though I don’t think I’m ready to start selling my art, I felt a sense of accomplishment by doing something outside of my comfort zone. It was fun, relaxing and I have a memento of our painting party as a bonus.