This past week, I finally had a chance to try the social painting trend everyone seems to be into. With much anticipation, my mom and I headed to Paintlounge on College St. to take a Lawren Harris inspired workshop. For those unfamiliar with Canadian art history, Lawren Harris was a member of the Group of Seven, a famed group of Canadian landscape painters. Beyond his art, Harris was a rather interesting figure. An heir to the Massey fortune, his life straddled Toronto high society and the backwoods of Canada. This Toronto Life piece paints an interesting picture of Harris (Yup! That’s a pun. You’re welcome) and is certainly worth a read. And if you are unfamiliar with the Group of Seven, I urge you, no, beg you to spend some time at the Art Gallery of Ontario enjoying their Canadian collection.
But I digress. Paintlounge opened their first location in Markham in 2010 and have since expanded to offer two additional locations in the west and east ends of Toronto. The concept is fairly simple, Paintlounge provides the supplies (including coffee and tea) and you create your masterpiece. Paintlounge’s approach to painting is fun, social and approachable. Classes are offered for those interested in a more structured option or you can go freestyle. They also do parties for corporate team building, bachelorettes and birthdays.
My mom and I arrived early for the class, anxious to get started. We purchased some warm beverages from the cafe bar, grabbed our aprons and selected our seats. Although I went in having absolutely no clue as to how my high school art class skills would fare when faced with the task of interpreting such a beautiful piece of art, the Paintlounge approach immediately put me at ease. We tackled the painting in sections, starting each one with a demo from the instructor and then a good amount of time for the students to replicate on their own canvases. Before long, I was feeling like a pro!
The most interesting thing about the class was seeing how each student’s painting turned out so differently. Some had fun with colours while others used a more layered paint technique or choppy strokes. Photo below showing everyone’s different take via the Paintlounge Instagram.
P.s. how cute is my mom?! Thats us in the front row to the left.
All in all, I’d give the experience a 9/10 with one point lost because I am an old lady who needs her beauty rest and the workshop ran until close to 11:00pm on a weeknight. Gasp! To be fair, we could have left early as some did and returned at a later date to finish our paintings but we were in the zone.
Here’s a closeup of my final masterpiece, which I have to say is basically a million times better than I thought it would be.
For our next visit, we will be trying one of Paintlounge’s technique classes and I’ll be sure to report back.
And if you are interested in taking this workshop, it will be offered again on March 30. Register here.
For more info on Paintlounge, including a full list of workshops please visit their website: www.paintlounge.ca