7 Tips for Throwing a Painting Party

Paint Nites have been super popular among my friends lately. These are basically painting events hosted by a bar, where you are provided with all the required painting materials and an instructor to guide you through a relatively simple painting, and in a few hours you go home drunk and with a masterpiece to hang proudly in your living room. Theoretically. I basically copied this idea and used it as a way to get my friends to paint with me. Here are my 7 tips for throwing a painting party:

Tip 1 – Instruction. 

Someone needs to be the instructor to hold everyone’s hand. Most of your friends probably have never painted before so they will need step by step detailed instructions and it also helps for them to watch you. I have never taught anyone before and probably went way too fast and had zero patience and it still worked out, so chances are you will do much better. Basically just be in front of the room and paint slowly while verbalizing what you are doing. It doesn’t have to make sense.

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My instructor easel, set up with everyone else facing it

Tip 2 – Booze. 

I provided the painting supplies and all my guests brought booze. The more the merrier, because  it obviously helps with everyone’s creativity. Just be careful not to dip your paint brushes into the wine. Or spill it on the carpet.

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Tip 3 – Food. 

Because no one is happy when they are hungry, so make sure there is some food around. Finger foods are best so that you can still paint while snacking.

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Tip 4 – Feedback. 

Um, excuse me, Miss, can I get some feedback?” was probably the most uttered sentence that night. Luckily everyone had been drinking so I didn’t have to really make sense with my “expert opinion.” But most people like feedback so be ready to help out and tell them how awesome their monkey inside their jar looks.

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Can you spot the jar with the monkey inside?

Tip 5 – Planning. 

We planned this event about a week in advance and made a Facebook event for it where we set up a polling station so everyone could vote on the painting that they wanted to paint. I gave them 4 options, shown below. I think it helped get everyone excited for it.

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Which one would you have picked?

Tip 6 – Fun.

Just have it. Lot’s of it. Since in the end, it really doesn’t matter what you paint. The point of the night is to have a good time with your friends.

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Can you spot the black puppy?

Tip 7 – Puppies. 

Bring some. Because everyone needs a cute assistant.

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Rex and Daisy being the cutest assistants ever. Rex ate all the crumbs off the floor so no one had to step on them.

And that’s it for my advice for throwing a kick ass painting party. Everyone agreed it was a great time and we are definitely going to do it again! You are all invited.

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My paint night masterpiece

Have you ever been to an actual Paint Nite event? How was it? 

3 Surefire Ways to Make Someone’s Birthday Special

3 Surefire Ways to Make Someone’s Birthday Special

There are three surefire ways to make someone feel extra special on their birthday, and that is a fact!

1. Be there. 

How can you tell them how special they are to you if you are not there for their birthday? My parents live almost 700km away so usually a phone call and a snail mail card (eons better than a Facebook happy birthday wish) has to do the trick, but this year, luckily, Easter was around the time of my dad’s and brother’s birthdays so I had an extra long weekend and was able to make the trek down to see them. Bonus points for me.

2. Bake a cake. 

Sweets are the secret to anyone’s heart, and that is also a fact. If someone tells you they do not like sweets, they are a lying liar who lies so make them cake anyways. Fortunately, my dad loves anything sweet. A couple of years ago, I made him this cake. It was supposed to be a sexy red sports car. Major fail. However, the old man mobile that it looks like is probably more age appropriate anyways. Just kidding dad. You are only as old as you feel and we all know you feel like a 22-year-old.

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Bigger is Better {Time Lapse Video}

I’ve been a little absent from this blog but now I hope to be back to a regular posting schedule. I’ve got big plans for this website coming in the next few months, including ways fellow artists can get involved so stay tuned 🙂 It will be the best art website you’ve ever seen. Promise.

Adjusting to having a ‘real job’ has been new to me after all these years of the student life. I don’t love waking up to an alarm every morning but I certainly do love having evenings and weekends to do as I please.

The painting below is a commissioned one that I began back when I was still living the dream as a student at Ottawa U. It was supposed to be a Christmas gift from the man in the picture to his wife, but then turned into a Valentine’s Day gift. It’s nice and huge and therefore took a solid chuck of time to paint. But that’s okay, because bigger is better.

In 5 easy steps!
In 5 easy steps!

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Why I Don’t Gift Paintings

I rarely paint for people who are not family or paying customers. I think it is awkward. Art is so personal and everyone has their own preferred style. My family has no problem telling me exactly what they like and it’s usually not in line with my own preferred style of art work so I appreciate the honesty. Paying customers will also tell you exactly what they want. Gifting artwork to someone who is not expecting it is a risk. If they don’t like it, they likely feel forced to hang it up anyways and that’s got to suck. I also doubt anyone would openly admit to me if they didn’t like it (other than my family or paying customers). So friends, if you’ve never received a painting from me, this is why!

Not too long ago, I broke my own rule and actually painted a gift painting for someone who I didn’t know all too well for his birthday. It was one of those awkward situations were I’d be on a few dates with this guy, and then it happens to be his birthday. So naturally, I can’t do nothing for it, but then I also don’t want to go overboard since it had only been a few weeks. He’d seen a few of my paintings and particularly liked these two, City Love and After Midnight.

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