News: Spouses add Cav flare to Painting with a Twist party
Story by Spc. Angel Turner
HARKER HEIGHTS, Texas—Ten spouses of Soldiers assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division’s Headquarters joined together for a night of fun, fellowship and creativity at Painting with a Twist, here, Dec. 11.
The group of women ate snacks and got comfortable before settling down to accomplish the tasked art — A Twinkling Christmas Tree.
Taking a breather from their busy lives, Nicole Kallo, co-host of the night and spouse of a 1st Cav. Soldier, found a way to start the class out in a relaxed and uplifting way. “The holidays can be crazy so we’re going to start by stating one positive thing that has happened to us today.”
After sharing their positive remembrances of the day, the two-hour session transitioned to their art. With the spouses using acrylic paints, they went step-by-step, following the instructor to transform the blank canvases into something “twinkling.”
“For a lot of people this is their first time painting so we do the sessions step-by-step to help build confidence and so everyone leaves at the end of the night with something similar,” stated Jane Connor, the artist who gave the class.
Each spouse painted the background various shades of blue while using black and white to either lighten or darken the picture. Once the novice painters completed this step, they blow-dried the canvases and progressed to creating the tree.
“The ‘twist’ part of Painting with a Twist is the wine,” said Connor. “This is a way to encourage people to come out enjoy themselves, relax and have a glass of wine. This is a chance for people to connect to each other and have fun seeing how the paintings are developing.”
Although recreating a selected painting served as the first time for many of the spouses, the night came with much laughter and singing along to music playing throughout the room.
When mistakes were made, spouses gave advice to help their “civilian battle buddies” get back on track.
“I thought this was a lot of fun,” said Lisa Daniels, also a 1st Cav. Div. soldier’s spouse. “It was a good way to spend the evening, painting a Christmas painting while getting to know the ladies a little bit better.”
The spouses attend many of the unit’s events to include ceremonies. In efforts to get to know each other better they meet monthly, each person rotating to pick where they will meet and what they will do.
“It’s important to have events like this because our guys get deployed,” said Daniels. “This helps form bonds so we can have someone to call or talk to. If we don’t get to know each other outside of the professional environment then we won’t feel comfortable to call each other when needed.”
A night that started out with 10blank canvases ended with each painters twist to the selected painting and stronger bonds within the 1st Cav. family.