The perfect combination on a Saturday night; live music, drinks, good company and some paint at Paint Lounge! There are three locations of Paint Lounge located throughout the GTA, so no matter what ‘hood you are in, there is one close to you (Toronto West, Toronto East and Markham). The idea behind Paint Lounge is that people get to paint in a social, friendly, and relaxing atmosphere. No one passes judgement on the ideas or artistic output that is produced, instead there is just lots of positive encouragement from everyone.
With this incredibly cold winter that has been bestowed upon us all, I was looking for some indoor activities. They say social media is key these days, and I can honestly say that I was sold on Paint Lounge after seeing a few friends posting photos on Instagram and having a great time. JD and I were in Toronto the last weekend of January and it coordinated well that there was an event being held at the Markham location when we were back in town, so I signed us up.
The set up of Paint Lounge is practical and gave me a slight deja-vu flashback of kindergarden days with activity centres. Keeping lots of small children on track and in an orderly fashion can be comparable to a large group of adults in a creative environment, so it proved to be effective. There was a central station with all of the paints and brushes. And also a distinct place to put dirty pieces versus clean ones. Staff members came by quite frequently to replenish and clean supplies as needed. A coffee bar is situated along the right side wall where various non-alcholic beverage could be ordered. Everyone was provided with a smock to keep the paint on the canvas or rather than everyone’s clothes.
The event started at 7:30pm and ran until 11pm. Due to other commitments, we did not get there until 9pm. We wasted no time in getting right down to business. There were blank canvases waiting for us upon our arrival. After getting our supplies, I just started painting a background color without really planning what I was going to be creating. It was a bit of a euphoric rush once I had the paint brush touching the canvas. Ideas and possibilities started coming left, right and centre. It actually took me a moment or two to strategize what I was going to create.
As I walked around the room, I was blown away at what everyone was painting. There was no specific theme, but people were painting anything and everything. It was inspirational to over hear people commenting on how they surprised themselves with their artistic ability and also hearing the encouraging words and compliments everyone gave each other. There were paintings of beaches, sunsets, flying robots, dresses, cityscapes and some interpretive abstract pieces. Nonetheless, they were beautiful in their own special way.
A couple of times throughout the evening, the crowd was serenaded by local musician Kurtis Wright. He introduced some of his newest songs and played great covers of some classics. He was a one man show singing and playing an accoustic guitar.
By the end of the evening, JD and I had created our own masterpieces. JD created a Toronto skyline painting. As for mine, it is open to interpretation. I still don’t quite know what it is. What I do know, is that I had a wonderful evening and will certainly be returning.