I originally started taking watercolor painting lessons because I didn't really know how to use the paints. I got more and more confident and then felt like I could paint on my own if I just took the time. I didn't, however, often take that time. Time that I took for painting felt stolen from "more important" things like working on my classes (job), working out (health), cleaning up (home), or spending time with my husband and cats (family). I'm sure it's a common dilemma.
I signed up for a class again at a different place just to give myself the time to play with my painting and not feel guilty about it. If I had paid to paint between 6:30 and 8:30 on Wednesdays, I was going to paint at that time. Since then, I've learned the unsurprising lesson that 6 weeks wasn't enough for me to learn everything there was to learn about watercolors.
But, I was thinking that a great (and cheaper) way to satisfy the forced-practice need might be an Art Club. Sort of like a book club, except that instead of all talking about the book, everyone would bring their various projects and materials (paintings, knitting, scrapbooks, quilts, whatever) and work on them while chatting. The host would provide the workspace and people could contribute wine and a few non-messy snacks. It would be a fun way to catch up with friends and all get a little time to pursue creative interests.
I'm still thinking about trying this but I am not sure about the guest list and the timing. Would the club meet once a week, every month, every two weeks? I did a little poll among my facebook friends but none of my local friends responded with anything practical for this kind of setting. But I'm still interested in trying it. Have any of you done anything similar?