Sick of doing the same old thing night after night? I mentioned over the weekend that I am totally off tv, and when you do decide to stop watching it I’m telling you, you’ll find yourself faced with hours of free time, you just won’t know what to do with it!
But that’s ok because believe me, there is always something much more exciting waiting for you and one of those things involves a room full of amateur artists, a palette of paint and some quality tunes.
It’s time to join the latest craze in evening entertainment, it’s time to take part in a paint party.
Ever since I first saw The Paint Republic on twitter over the summer, I have been trying to coordinate my diary to attend one of the classes, but alas our schedules were constantly clashing. Finally a date popped up where I had nothing planned – but the event was all the way in Chester, over an hours drive from home.
What the heck, I wanted to paint – no I needed to paint as it was on my 2016 to do list so Mo would just have to deal with me schlepping him across Cheshire for a night of creativity.
I sat down and stared at my blank canvas, glanced over to my right at Lindsay’s completed masterpiece. How on earth are we supposed to paint something like that freehand?!?!
I consider myself to be fairly creative. I did well in art throughout school, took a fine art module at university, but I’ve never freehand painted anything. Ever. I’ve always pre drawn my outlines and then used a paintbrush to colour it in. Free painting surely meant there was little room for error, and I was feeling slightly pressured as Mo was enjoying making a big deal over the fact that I was a lot more experienced than he was.
I literally can’t put into words how much fun we had that night!!
We left immediately counting out how many friends we can rally round to organise another party, and I can’t wait to get in touch with Lindsay when I get back from my travels to make it possible. Lindsay is not only the lady behind the painting we were trying to recreate, but also the co-founder of the Paint Republic in the UK.
Amazingly, she was able to lead a whole class of beginners through the process step by step. I don’t know how she did it, but she just did. Bit by bit we built up the colours, the layers, the strokes… we blended, dabbed, flicked… the full works! All the while Lindsay was on the mic offering help, commentary and most importantly keeping the atmosphere going, she has a fantastic ambience about her and she kept us smiling and laughing all evening.
With only a short break in between painting, the time that night flew by. Before we knew it lo and behold on the stand in front of us was a completed work of art. You get a real sense of achievement and I don’t think anyone around us was disappointed with what they had created.
I thought it was worth sharing a few tips, because I’m pretty sure you’re going to want to do this at some point so hopefully these will help you through:
Top tips to survive your first paint party:
Don’t wear clothes you’re precious about
You’re painting for crying out loud, the chances are paint is going to land on your clothing at some point. In my case, Mo’s technique of snow splattering ended up with half my side covered in white flecks of acrylic. I wasn’t bothered, added to the fun and it all came off – but if you are thinking of wearing something fancy, don’t be precious about it
Keep your drink away from your paint-water glass
Nobody wants paint in their drink. Or to drink paint water. And yes I nearly did both of those things.
Take your friends
This isn’t a silent solitary art class, this is a paint party. So rally your friends round get a table together and enjoy yourselves! Perhaps compete on whose turns out best? Mo enjoyed asking facebook friends to judge between painting a and painting b (thankfully I won!)
Go with the flow
The flow of the night, the flow of the music and of course more importantly, the flow of your paintbrush. Yours might not look exactly like the original, but who cares? It’s your masterpiece. Own it.
If this has intrigued you in any way then I am pleased to tell you that a few days ago the Paint Republic finally published a list of new dates on their website. None in Manchester just yet… but as I said, the minute I return I shall be on the case!!!
To be perfectly honest, Mo and I both said we would travel all the way back to the heart of Chester just to have another go if we had to, we enjoyed it that much.
If this year is the year you try new things, do things differently then you need to get online, book a class, switch off that TV, peel yourself off that sofa and unleash your inner Picasso! You might discover a whole new direction in life…??
Have you been to a Paint Republic experience before? Or done anything similar? Are you based in Manchester and would like to book on and give it a go?
*** Thank you to Lindsay from The Paint Republic for inviting Mo and I to take part in this fantastic experience, and for helping me create artwork that I could then use on my Christmas cards this year! They went down a treat, a real talking point! ***