Tagged: art

Paints and Pints

I recently caught wind of a new artsy thing here in the city: Paint Nite. It’s an event — a franchise event, actually, which originated in Boston three years ago, eventually making it’s way here — where people can “Drink Creatively” at different bars across the city.

It’s a pretty neat idea, considering I’ve always been an advocate for painting and being creative, whether you think you’re a “painter” or not.

I spoke with the woman who owns Paint Nite Winnipeg, Manda Brownrigg, and she said she saw a need for the event because people are so busy they forget to be creative. It’s so true. I like to write about making time for what you love, but I’ve struggled with that myself this past year. It’s sad to think people need to pay $45 to go out to get their creative juices flowing, but I suppose it’s better than not being creative at all. I applaud Manda for at least providing a new option for creativity. It’s definitely something more mainstream that I can see a lot of my “non-painter” friends actually doing.

Here’s a story I wrote about Paint Nite Winnipeg, but if you want to see the event for yourself, check out the TV version here. (Skip ahead to 32:00 for the story).

An event that encourages embracing your inner-artist while sipping on some cocktails has made its way to Winnipeg.
In a room full of women, Colin Epp, the only man, is hard at work on his masterpiece. It’s date night for him and longtime girlfriend Victoria Markstrom.

“It was my idea, one hundred per cent,” said Markstrom.

“But I’m on board for anything,” said Epp. “I’ll try absolutely anything once.”

The pair chose to check out Paint Nite Winnipeg, a franchise event new to Winnipeg. By the time they’re done for the evening, they will have two new paintings to hang up at their cottage.

“We’re both in sciences, so it’s nice to be creative once in a while,” said Markstrom.

“In our day-to-day jobs, we just don’t do those kinds of things, so yeah, it’s nice.”

Paint Nite Winnipeg made its debut in October 2014. It’s an event that happens four times a week in different venues across the city. So far Barley Brothers, Saffron’s and The Good Will have held the event.

For the $45 ticket, you get an apron, paints, brushes, a blank canvas and guidance. An instructor will walk you through the evening, telling you which brushes to use, but insisting you make the painting your own.

“Anybody can paint,” said Manda Brownrigg, owner of Paint Nite Winnipeg.

“Everybody comes in here and they start with, ‘I’m not creative, I can’t paint stick men, this is not my thing, don’t expect too much from me,’ but every person leaves here with this thing that they created. They’re impressed with themselves and they’re proud.”

Brownrigg said it’s important to be creative in our busy day-to-day lives, because we often neglect our artistic sides as adults.

“We lose track of that awesome childish artisticness, where we’re just happy to have made something, we don’t even care if it’s good,” said Brownrigg.

At Paint Nite, you’re asked to check your self-doubt at the door, and to create your own artwork no matter your skill level.

“Repeat after me,” said Brownrigg over a wireless headset. “I will not say the words, ‘My painting sucks.’”

Two Bostonians created Paint Nite back in 2012. The slogan, “Drink Creatively,” encourages paint and pints. Even though it’s only been in Winnipeg for a few months, tickets sell out fast — right now you’re looking at about a two-month wait.

Paint Nite Winnipeg is currently a one-woman show with Brownrigg the whole event. But she is so busy she’s looking to hire artists to help her expand.


New addition to a Manitoba tradition

Considering the Festival du Voyageur is just three days away, I thought it would be the perfect time to share this article I wrote for The Projector. There’s some new additions to the outdoor festival this year, and I honestly can’t wait to go.

Come February, the temperatures will likely be cold and the homework will likely be piled on thick, and according to Manitoba’s beloved winter festival, that’s the best time to head outdoors.

For its 46th year in a row, Festival du Voyageur (FDV) returns to St. Boniface from Feb. 13 to 22.

This year, the festival will feature all the classic winter activities, like horse-drawn sleigh rides, slides and snowshoe workshops, but it will also introduce something new.

Fort Gibraltar — the festival’s main hub — will be open late, from 9 p.m. to midnight, to introduce the brand new Bar Gibraltar. Fort Gibraltar would normally be closed at 9 p.m., so the extra hours in the evening give party-goers a place to dance along to music, enjoy some drinks outdoors and well into the evening.

“I think the Fort Gibraltar bar is exactly what the people need,” said Barney Morin, a first-year Creative Communications student and a historical interpreter for the FDV. “Normally the Fort closes at 9 o’clock, you sort of miss that historical aspect.”

Morin, 23, has been attending the FDV since elementary school, but has been an avid festival-goer for the past five years. He dresses up like a voyageur and teaches visitors the rich history of Manitoba.

“Out of all the things that are good this year — 130 bands playing, 100 are local — the bar is going to be the highlight,” said Morin.

Ginette Lavack Walters, executive director of the festival, said the outdoor space at Fort Gibraltar is going to now be programmed with fire jugglers, fire pits, voyageurs singing songs, DJs, and of course, Bar Gibraltar.

She said although many people would rather hide from the cold and their homework, it’s important that they come out and experience the festival.

“I’ve been through university, and I’ve done that reading week, and sometimes you just need a break,” said Lavack Walters.

“You need to change your environment and you need to change your frame of mind. A great way to do that is to grab a couple of friends and come out.”

More than 130 musicians or musical acts of all different genres will play during the 10-day festival.

“If you want something that helps to kind of get you loosened up and not thinking about everything else that’s stressful in your life, Festival is a great way to do it,” said Lavack Walters.

Other FDV events include the 33rd beard growing contest, a mascot competition and jigging and fiddling competitions.

clean + playful

I’ve wanted to spruce up a corner of my bedroom for a while now. After scrolling through numerous DIY blogs, I found a project that would be super easy and inexpensive. I stealthily paid a visit to my local Home Depot and snagged some sample paint chips in the colours that I like (apparently I’m drawn to ‘clean + playful’).

I’m not going to lie, I felt pretty badass.

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I cut out the squares to get rid of the words and the white.

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Then I arranged the colours how I liked. My parents got me some old frames at a garage sale last summer that I’ve been meaning to use, so I arranged the squares to fit inside the frame.

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Once all the pieces were glued in the spots I wanted, I put the final piece in the frame, and up on my dresser it went. For such an easy — and, well, free — project, I couldn’t be happier with the end result.

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I’m always looking for a new DIY project. If you have any cool ideas, let me know! 

The Ceramicist

This is a video montage that my friend Emily Ormonde and I made for a school assignment. It stars the talented Grace Boyd as she makes plates for a school assignment of her own.

This was actually the first time I saw someone make something on the pottery wheel, and it was pretty much the coolest. The studio was a beautiful mess. Students work was scattered throughout the room. A big thanks goes out to Grace and the students at U of M who let us film in their classroom.




Emily and I filmed for about seven hours one Saturday afternoon, and then took another six to seven hours to edit the footage. It was a long process for such a short video, but we had the best time. It was a great learning experience in filming, editing and ceramics.

When we finished, we were super happy.

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10 Questions With…Brett Visca


Brett Visca is a 22-year old makeup artist from Winnipeg. He is the owner of Visca Artistry.

1.    What is art?

Art, I find, is a way that we all express ourselves. It can be shown through how we dress, what we listen to, our occupation, our lifestyle — in pretty much everything we do.

2.    If you were stranded on an island, which three things would you wish to have?

My iPod. I love music and can’t imagine not having it. Also my cat.

3.    What creation are you most proud of?

I’m most proud of creating my own business (Visca  Artistry).  It’s been cool to have my own business and be my own boss and continue on growing the business and the ventures. Like, now I am getting into special effects, releasing my own brush line, and teaching classes!

4.    What is your favourite movie, and why?

I really like Jennifer’s Body. It’s dark, it’s funny and it’s sexy. I also am a huge horror movie fan, which has increased my love of being a makeup artist. I love the Scream series, Candyman and Nightmare On Elm Street series.

5.    What inspires you?

Fashion is a big inspiration. I love designers like Alexander McQueen, Jean Paul Gaultier, and Thierry Mugler, as well as horror films.

6.    What is your “life motto”?

Treat others how you want to be treated.

7.    Have you had formal training or does it come naturally?

I am a certified Makeup Artist through MC College, as well as received training from Stila, Clinique, Estée Lauder, Dior, and many other cosmetic brands.

8.    What’s one thing on your bucket list?

I would love to have my own fashion line before I kick the bucket. It’s always been something in the back of my mind and inspires me.

9.    Who is your favourite artist?

I really like Pink. I love her as a person, her sound and her style. I’ve also been a huge fan of No Doubt, Marilyn Manson, Natalia Kills, Courtney Love and lots of 90’s rock/alternative music.

10.    Why this art medium?

It kind of just fell into my lap being a makeup artist. I needed a job and I started in retail, then it became a passion of mine which I’m slowly turning into a career!


To see more of Brett’s work, check him out on Facebook.

Make time for what you love

Tonight I painted.

It was the first time in a long time that I just sat down, put in my headphones and painted. For hours. It felt great.

A while ago my mom asked me to paint her something to hang in our living room. I told her I’d get around to it. I’m way too busy with school to paint.

It’s too bad I let myself feel that way.

I must have forgotten how relaxing it is to dip the brush into that colourful paint and draw whatever random mess I want on the canvas. How much that raw creativity could help take the stress of everything away, not add to it.

I must have forgotten how important it is to make time for what I love. I remembered that tonight.

So the painting for my mother is in progress. I sincerely hope it will be hanging in our living room shortly.



Here’s one of my favourite songs, that usually inspires some pretty cool ideas. It makes me smile.

I’ve seen Josh Groban twice in concert how. I’m a pretty big fan.

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10 Questions With…Michael Alan

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“I am Michael Alien, an alien who wants good and to exist with a twist of chaos and a big splash of toxic paint!”— Art Info

Michael Alan “Alien” is a 36-year old New York based multi-media artist. His work includes: drawings, paintings, prints, sculptures, video, music, and performances, and is represented by Gasser Grunert in Chelsea, New York.ma2

Michael has had nine solo art shows in New York, his work has been featured in over 200 group shows and over 200 living installations (Michael’s drawings and paintings being acted out live).

Michael is also the founder and director of the Living Installation, where human beings are transformed into live art and are set to his original music (available for purchase here.)

I started following Michael Alan a long time ago on his Instagram account. I resist the urge to double tap every photo he posts, because that’s just it, I like everything he does. His work is like no one’s I’ve ever seen before, and I could stare at his his pieces for hours, fascinated by each and every line.

When the day comes that I make it to New York, seeing one of his art shows is definitely on my bucket list. But for now, I got the chance to ask him ten questions about himself–including what’s on his bucket list–and here’s what he had to say:

10 Questions:

1. What is art?  

In today’s society art is anything you say it is, which is why most art is shit. The question should be what is true art.

2. If you were stranded on an island, which three things would you wish to have? 

All my art supplies, water and anxiety medication.

3. What creation are you most proud of? 

The energy I have been given to create.

4. What is your favourite movie and why? 

I don’t know, favorites aren’t realistic. There are so many great movies. I feel that movies are one of the high points of our culture. All the way from I shot Andy Warhol, Superstar, The Road, &, Blue Velvet, LA Confidential, Dallas Buyers Club, Brazil, Bronson, Motherwell, Ghostworld, Tapeheads, Brewsters Millions, The Muppets take Manhattan, and my favorite  See no Evil, Hear no Evill with Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder.

5. What inspires you? 

Every fucking thing, good or bad.

6. What is your “life motto”? 

Don’t dream your dream, live your dream.

7. Have you had formal training or does it come naturally? 

I’ve gone to art school but I’ve never had an instructor give me a lesson except for critiques. I’ve got lucky, I always got more support and encouragement.

8. What’s one thing on your bucket list?

I want to see my new 12” album get pressed by Vas Deferens organisation. I’ve had a lot of cds released but this is my first vinyl collaborative epic art album.

9. Who is your favourite artist?  

The Czechosovakian stop motion animator Jan Svankmajer.

10. Why this art medium? 


Take a look at this.
More photos are available on his Facebook page. Also, Catie Keck, an Intern at the Huffington Post, recently asked Michael Alan eight questions about his upcoming performance on May 4 for “New Museum Untapped,” check it out here.