Fridays tend to revolve around two things: casual dress at work and evening drinks. The latter usually occurs in any given bar local to the office. But this past Friday we traded in our Happy Hour search for a Monet-inspired Pop-Up Painting session.
Inviting you to get your Art Attack on in the company of wine, the team at Pop-Up Painting have been curating nights for newbs like myself to enjoy a spot of painting with an alcoholic beverage for some four years now.
Prior to stepping into Brasserie Blanc – the London Waterloo eatery that was to become my art studio for the evening – my last meeting with a paint brush was around 2005. In honesty, I can’t say I expected much in the way of a positive end product.
To my fortune, the classes are built for people just like me; bodies absent of a complete set of artistic bones. The step by step walk through of how to create your own mini Monet piece meant that even if you ordinarily couldn’t do justice to anything more elaborate than stickmen, you were cool.
We’re told to moisten the brush before we get started so as to allow for a nice light paint coating. As the carefully curated themed playlist rings out, the teacher makes her way around the room handing out pointers and encouragement in equal measure. In completing the background she assures me I’m doing well. And as I step away from my piece to grab a grab a glass of wine, I’m already proud of my work in progress.
Some 15 minutes pass and my canvas is now all dried up and ready for more action. So I get right back to it, enhancing my painting as instructed. There’s a girl in front of me who appears to be freestyling and creating something completely different – something you’re encouraged to do, if you hold the appropriate skillset. But I know my place. The ability to paint an abstract piece without heavy guidance is not in my gift.
Fast forward two and a bit hours and I’m left with something that looks decent. “Monet?” a man says as I ride the train home. Haters will say he’s on the Pop-Up Painting payroll. Others will simply acknowledge the fact that my painting’s pretty good… from a distance, if you squint a little, and are a couple of white wines in.