I love to paint. I’m not terribly skilled at it, but it brings me joy. Never in my life, until a magical Thursday night at Dank Canvas in October, did I attempt to combine painting and cannabis. (Okay, except for that one time with the Love is Art kit, but that was less about painting and more about having sex on top of a paint-splattered canvas).
I arrived to a room full of women I adore: host Jennifer Korsen, along with several beloved colleagues from the industry, including Vanessa Corrales of B Edibles, who brought her delicious, infused sugar, and “Mama Sailene” Ossman at the dab bar. Joints were plentiful, and there were two displays containing vape pens and alcohol wipes. We were decidedly in an abundance of cannabis, and free to medicate to our comfort. I decided to go heavy since I wasn’t driving, so I took a 10mg sugar cube from B Edibles and a couple dabs, then puffs off the joints that were being passed around. I was feeling excellent!
I sat down with a flat wooden skull and a ceramic skull, ready to create. Jennifer suggested practicing on the wooden skull before moving to the ceramic one, and I was glad I did. It was helpful to get used to the feel of the brush in my hand and the consistency of the paint, both because I hadn’t painted in ages and because I was navigating the added variable of cannabis. I found that cannabis helped me feel more at ease. One of the reasons I struggle with painting is the overwhelming feeling that I’m not “doing it right.” Ever the anxiety-queller, the products I consumed helped get me out of my head and feel more creative and at ease.
“I love doing something besides the typical going to a bar with friends, but I don’t have an artistic bone in my body,” Mama Sailene told me. “I can’t even draw a deep breath.” The idea of puffing and painting sounded great—except for the painting part. Jennifer Korsen creates an environment that is low-pressure and wildly encouraging for artists of any experience level. I forgot the stress of creating art, and instead felt an overwhelming sense of community and connection with every participant. I love that Jennifer has a cannabis event friendly to both men and women—that can make someone even as artistically challenged as I am “feel like a real (high) Picasso,” shared Katie Keller, a fellow participant and new friend I recently met at the Ganja Goddess Getaway.
I couldn’t agree more. Once I felt the cerebral effects of cannabis start to kick in, I was more in the flow and ready to take on the main project piece. I started with a solid blue on my ceramic skull, and with Jennifer’s gentle encouragement and practical instruction, started adding embellishments and accents in complementary colors. Things just started to make sense, and pairing swirls and flowers felt intuitive. By the time we were ready to add the blacklight element to our work, I was fully in my groove. I added a few strokes to see how it felt, and when Jennifer turned out the lights so we could see the paint glow, I was filled with inspiration. I began liberally applying blacklight paint to my embellishments, making them stand out even more brilliantly. It was invigorating.
Afterward, I asked Jennifer what she’s hoping to build with Dank Canvas. She replied, “My goal with Dank Canvas is to create experiences where people who think they can’t make art are able to create something they’re proud of. It really is all about the environment and taking the pressure off the situation, and just enjoying the flow and focus of creating. Cannabis is the perfect bridge between the insecurity of making mistakes and letting yourself be in the moment and just flow. I also like to create a platform for my guests to interact with working artists whose work can be seen in galleries and on the streets, and to have that intimate experience of creating with them. I feel like we are doing more than just teaching art classes. We’re creating community.”