Paint Nite. This clever concept of mixing painting and cocktails has taken off in local bars all over the world. No experience required, only the willingness to express yourself creatively while potentially getting a buzz. While I would not consider myself an artist, I enjoy the idea painting! I had been thinking about doing a paint night for quite some time before a friend gifted me a Groupon and invited me to join her.
I arrive at The Merchant exactly 30 minutes before we get started at 6:30 pm. I walk in behind a group of chatty friends who are eager to make masterpieces. All of the easels, canvas and paint are laid out with green aprons draped over the chairs. There are plenty of seats to choose from and our instructor, Rebecca, tells me to place an apron over the canvas to reserve spots. By 6:45 pm the group of 25 is in full attendance. The aspirational painting is hanging at the front for all of us to reference. I honestly can’t figure out how my blank canvas will ever resemble what I am looking at in only 2 hours but I try to keep an open mind.
At 7 pm sharp, Rebecca begins. From which brush to use to how much paint to dip them in, she articulates every tiny detail while making the experience light-hearted and fun. She’s very good at communicating, walking around to check on our work and encouraging positivity, “Nobody is allowed to say theirs sucks!” she demands.
Before we know it, it’s 8:50 pm and she’s telling us to initial our piece of work and get ready for a group photo.
I’m not going to lie, I got frustrated at times and compared my work to my neighbours’, often trying to adjust it and then regretting it after a few too many strokes. I wasn’t the only one! I heard a lot of “Why does yours look so much better than mine?” and “Can I have a practice canvas?!”
I consider Paint Nite a metaphor for life, meaning, you can’t force things. When you try too hard to to control something – it can back fire. You just have to let it go! And have a drink.
What was surprisingly interesting to me was seeing how everyone interpreted the painting and executed their interpretation. Talk about a social experiment!
WOULD I GO AGAIN?
I would go back in a heartbeat. It’s such a simple night out with friends and you can choose which painting you want by checking their website. Whichever painting you like best determines which night you attend. Bonus: you get to keep your painting and if you don’t hate it you can hang it at home.
KEEP UP WITH PAINT NITE
Check out Paint Nite Kington’s Facebook page for potential paintings, past paintings and a schedule.