Paint an umbrella for sheer pleasure

An invitation to paint an umbrella with Tricia Stedman of Arty Brellas popped into my inbox. Life does throw the most unusual invitations and challenges our way!

My response was an unqualified ‘Yes’. I’m committed to lifelong learning.

Once before, I painted an umbrella, but this time I knew it would be different. I’m a risk-taker and love new challenges. Painting with other adults one Sunday in February would be interesting, if also a little daunting.

Art (like singing) is not my forte. My aspirations in these areas were dashed when the art and music teachers told me, in Year 4, that I’d never be able to paint or sing. Some things you take on board and never forget.

Time to paint an umbrella

Several of the other women I met seemed as tentative as me. But the umbrella stands of varying heights, and dyes and paints in incredible colours set up in Tricia’s undercover area enticed us.

Tricia provided some information about the way dye and paint work on the fabric of her umbrellas. Then she left us to play with the materials. We experimented in small groups. Each group used one umbrella and we chose dyes and paints from Tricia’s collection.

Then we were ready to begin our individual artworks.

Some women settled in to the task quickly. Others took more time. One or two concentrated fiercely. Their faces reflected those of children hard at play. Some chatted. Others wandered around admiring the others’ work. A few withdrew into a quiet, meditative space.

Whatever their style, beautiful umbrellas in amazing colours blossomed under experienced or novice hands.

I experienced peace and joy in the creative space I discovered at the end of a paintbrush. Certainly something for my list of things I love. You can read about some other things I think are fun by checking out my blog, 20 fun activities for 2020 – a plan

Woman paints an umbrella

That art teacher in the 1940s would never have imagined how much I would enjoy the task of transforming a white object into something which delighted me with its colour

How we came to paint an umbrella

Tricia and I belong to one of Amanda Kendle’s Mastermind groups where, with Amanda’s help, we attempt to fathom out some of the intricacies of social media.

Amanda and Tricia had decided we’d start the new year with a shared activity to meet members of the other groups. We regularly exchange news and views on Facebook, but most of us only knew the people in their own group.

At the same time, we’d stretch and challenge our expectations. Using a different creative medium from our usual wordy ones helped us explore the new directions 2020 might take.

What Amanda Kendle said about the day

‘Working with my wonderful mastermind groups is one of my favourite parts of my job, and never more so than today when about half of us got together for a meet up and workshop led by one of my master-minders, Tricia from Arty Brellas.

 For many of us this kind of creativity really pushed us out of our comfort zones also managed to combine it with some thoughts about our big picture goals for 2020. We had so much fun, the time flew and lots of people who only knew each other online finally got to meet in person.

A thoroughly rewarding morning, I reckon!”


This activity has much to recommend it.

  • It’s an activity for people of all ages and abilities.
  • It’s good way to unwind, de-stress and enjoy a creative time.
  • It would make an excellent ice-breaker or theme setter for a conference or workshop.
  • Children love to paint an umbrella. That’s one of Tricia Stedman’s specialities.
  • This would be a fun thing to do at a pre-wedding party.
  • AND, if you would like to learn about social media or to enhance your social media skills, Amanda Kendle Consulting is the place to go.

Contact Tricia Stedman at Arty Brellas for more information and bookings for painting umbrellas or Amanda Kendle for information about all things social media. You can follow both of them on Facebook.

COPYRIGHT The photos in this post are the property of Amanda Kendle, used with her permission.

13 replies on “Paint an umbrella for sheer pleasure”

  1. Oh Maureen you are a wizard. Just like that, you whip out a Blog! So, so clever and thank you so much for your kind words and amazing feedback and blog. I love your Brella and I think though, I was a little to preoccupied so didn’t get a photo of you on your own painting during the actual workshop so was wonderful to see this one here. Many thanks again and keep up your lovely painting. I still owe you another Brella : )

    1. Such a beautiful peaceful way to spend time, relax and enjoy myself, Tricia. That was part of it. The other was how sociable we all were and how I felt we sparked off each other creatively and intellectually. My theme was self-nuture and I felt both soothed and stimulated when I got home.

      Writing the blog was easy. Glad you liked it.

      I’m really pleased with my umbrella and pleased to think I might one day create another.

      1. Would love to have you at another workshop Maureen Helen. Always an nice time to chill out and chat and create too. It is also inspiring to see and hear how others think and what is happening in their lives is often reflected in their paintings

        1. I can’t wait, Tricia. I really loved it this time round and have all sorts of ideas for what I’d like to do next time. Thank you dear friend. I hadn’t thought about how what we paint might reflect what is going on in our lives.

          You seem to have trouble publishing on my post. I don’t know what happens sometimes. I’ll delete the duplicate.

  2. A beautiful write up, Maureen. It was everything you say. A fabulous event and time spent together.

    1. A peaceful meditative way to spend a morning with friends, Sue. I surprised myself with how much I enjoyed it.

    2. It sure was Sue W and you would be so welcome to join a group when I have my next adult session Sue

      1. I’m sure Sue would love to come, Tricia, but she lives in Yorkshire, UK. Pity! I’d also love to meet her.

        1. Okay then Sue, as soon as the Covid19 settles down and stops scaring people into wrapping themselves in cotton wool (or toilet paper) the I will come over there and run some workshops. My best buddy is in UK and I am busting to come over for a visit and to do some work too. And in the meantime, I shall inscribe your name on a paintbrush in readiness : )

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