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September 19, 2018

Learning how to paint like Van Gogh

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It’s not a secret that I do enjoy dabbling with paints and brushes every now and then. I’m not formally trained but I do like to paint and draw and indulge in the arts. Last week, I was in the United Kingdom and I ended up experiencing something I’ve always wanted to do. Let me start at the top.

For the past few months, I’ve been seeing on Facebook that there is an event called Art and Wine, which is held held once a month at different venues. Basically an artist will run you through a painting that you get to copy as you watch them give you a tutorial. All this happens while you sip at some nice chilled wine and make an experience out of it. I’ve not managed to book a date here in Nairobi but just before I left for the UK, I happened to see an event posted on one of the pages I follow but when I clicked on it, the class was for the end of January and it was already full. I didn’t realise there were more links so I got in touch with the site and promptly someone replied back and sent me a link to other similar events happening at dates when I was there.

Immediately a friend signed me up for this and now all I had to do was show up on the date and experience something awesome. We caught a train from Paddington station and got off at Notting Hill and walked down to a pub called The Red Lemon to paint Jack Vettriano's 'The Singing Butler’. We thought we were running late but made it just on time and sat at the easels provided, eagerly awaiting instructions on what to do next. The wonderful thing about this was that there was no experience necessary at all and the class turned out to be great fun.

The instructor was very friendly and easy to follow. Clear instructions were given at every point and she patiently took her time to repeat whatever was necessary. Being held at a pub, I’d thought that after a few glasses of wine anyone would be able to paint, but it wasn’t really necessary to down a pint to pick that paintbrush up. I opted for a cranberry spritzer and slurped my way through it as I tried to reproduce The Singing Butler on my canvas.

The atmosphere was great fun; all the other participants gradually opened up and walked around looking at each others work, some gasping with delight and others shouting out with laughter comparing their work with the others’ pieces. It was great fun.

I know here in Nairobi we have a similar concept that hasn’t quite picked up as yet but it will be great to have them often. There is nothing like trying a new skill, or simply brushing up an old one. I feel vouchers for these events make great gift ideas, and also if one wants to do a large booking and go with a whole bunch of friends, that should be great fun too.

Look out for pop up painting in your area if you’re in the United Kingdom. I envy you for having such amazing activities at your disposal. I’ve promised myself to sign up for one every time I visit the UK!

 

Twitter: @kamz26

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