When I was 10 years old, my mother thought it would be a great idea to send me to painting classes. My first piece – a lion next to a tree that was only slightly taller than the lion – is still the subject of many family jokes. Needless to say, my confidence in painting has been knocked, so when my date suggested Pop Up Painting, I was skeptical.
Pop Up Painting is not art in the serious sense, but rather a chance to be a bit creative with a paintbrush in one hand and a glass of wine in the other. It was started by an ex-NHS employee who discovered the concept in America and decided to bring across the Atlantic in 2013 – and she hasn’t looked back since. It’s a straightforward concept, whereby an artist paints a famous painting, and you follow step-by-step.
Each session focuses on a different famous painting, and ours was Van Gogh’s “Starry Night Over The Rhone”, and to really set the mood, we had relevant themed music as our soundtrack. In general the vibe is great and entirely non-judgemental – the teacher takes time to come around and give words of encouragement (in my case: “oooh those are big stars!”) and you know that everyone around you is there more for the experience rather than any serious artistic reasons.
As the setting is very relaxed, there’s a 30-minute break to focus of drinking, and they also wheeled out some delicious antipasti. This pause provided the perfect opportunity to have a nose around and see our fellow artists’ works, as well as comparing our own attempts.
We were pleasantly surprised by the outcome – I didn’t think it would be possible to paint something better than an eyesore in a 2-hour period, particularly given my childhood wildlife art traumas. But what we came home with was actually pretty cool.
Date factor: great for special dates, 100th dates, double dates, mate dates
Price: £30pp includes a glass of wine, nibbles and creating a masterpiece to take home
Getting there: various locations across London
More info: http://popuppainting.com/events/