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.
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.
I cut out the squares to get rid of the words and the white.
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.
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.
I’m always looking for a new DIY project. If you have any cool ideas, let me know!
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.
“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.
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).
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:
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.
For local artist Kal Barteski, wife and mother of three, painting has been her passion since as long as she can remember. Stating at the age of five that her goal in life was to be a painter, Barteski has achieved just that and so much more. For one, she is the founder of LINKwithlove, an online collaborative set to teach others how to deal correctly with online property. She’s also a winner of the Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award, and is an extremely well known blogger. She has published a book, sold her art internationally, and much more. All of this while painting daily. Barteski’s love for life, contagiously optimistic attitude and crazy talent make her a force to be reckoned with, and she exemplifies this perfectly through her unique work.
“Polar bears are easy to identify with living in Canada— they are tough, creative, adaptable and extremely awesome,” says Barteski.
For anyone following her blog, they would see her personal updates and progress on her polar bear paintings for her upcoming polar bear art show.
This love affair all started back in college when she was dropped off at the zoo and asked to sketch. She found herself at the polar bear exhibit sketching Debbie, the bear at the time, and her new favorite muse.
“I became enthralled with her. I fell in love.”
Their relationship blossomed and Barteski found herself painting Debbie nearly every week. This random encounter and Barteski’s very public admiration for polar bears has led her down a path full of remarkable experiences. Most recently, Barteski became a certified TEDxManitoba speaker and her talk granted her an emotional standing ovation.
She was also presented with the extraordinary opportunity of adventuring to Churchill for the documented show Wild Obsession which aired on Animal Planet, where she got to meet the polar bears in person.
“Nature is amazing and the world is complicated only by people,” says Barteski on what she learned from the experience. The polar bears have also taught her how to “adapt, persevere and get on with things.”
“There is an opportunity everyday to redefine who we are and how we react to life. You can change your mind. You can be a chameleon,” says Barteski who has truly lived her own words and has survived to talk about it.
With so much already under her belt, her career goals for the future are simple, “Career goals change by the minute, but it all boils down to paint everyday for as long as I can. And maybe have a couple of shows, raise some money for good causes and share some ideas.”
She credits a lot of her career to saying “yes” to opportunities that come her way, and not being afraid to stray from the path.
“I made a couple of lucky choices and followed my passion.”
As for her future? “Truly, my life goals are pretty basic. Love my family. Be kind. Appreciate where I’m at. Paint everyday for as long as I can.”
Check out her TEDxManitoba talk here:
Free art, wine + snacks? Need I seriously say more? Really though, that combination makes for a perfect evening in my opinion. If you agree, I strongly encourage you and your friends to check out First Fridays in the Exchange District. It’s an open door event from 5:00pm-9:00pm on the FIRST Friday of every month, where artists/architects/galleries/businesses open their doors for FREE, most offering wine and snacks.
Coolest thing ever, I know.
My girlfriend was the one who found out about it, and I was surprised that I had never heard of it before. Totally up our alley, we had to check it out. Friday August 2nd was my first First Friday. As a painter, I found it to be a fascinating, inspiring and incredibly fun experience. The artists were up to answer any of my questions, some even offering tips on what to purchase for same effects, looks, techniques etc. I saw many different artists’ unique work and I visited galleries and businesses that I didn’t even know existed.
A self-ish portrait if you will. Being a girl of Irish decent, with pale skin, dark hair and bright blue eyes, people have always made it a point to tell me how lucky I am for my features. So, I thank you all, and I have turned your kind words into inspiration for a painting. I love the contrast of the black & white with the blue. I love the simplicity. Her name comes from the Irish Gaelic word ‘aislinge’ which means “a vision” or “a dream”. She helped me remember how much I loved to paint, so it’s fitting.
Painted January 2012.