‘Take some art, add some wine, make some magic!’ Monica, a talented, young vibrant artist from South Africa – couldn’t have chosen a better caption for this fun and fruitful event that she hosts.
I first heard about the event from a friend who was keen to try it. She always strikes me as super artistic, everything she touches turns out to be very ‘arty’. So the idea of me ‘making art’ made me somewhat subdued as I’d never held a paint brush in my life! The images of maniac, eccentric painters, such as the likes of Salvador Dali, came flushing into my mind. I thought that I couldn’t possibly be in the proximity of the ‘talented’. But then again, didn’t she mention drinking wine? It can’t be that serious then. I was a little bit more at ease, yeay!
What it entails
As a small event, it is very well organised and managed. You’ll find all the details on Facebook. The host holds the event at her home, located in the heart of Toulouse, close to Jardin des Plantes. As soon as you set your foot in the door, Monica and her huge welcoming smile are there to greet you. In her living room, rightly decorated by various masterpieces from her artistic friends, she offers snacks and wine of course, followed by a clear presentation about the task in hand. It might seem like a minor detail to you but the fact that she does a refresher talk about which colours beget which when mixed together, isn’t actually a lame idea at all! She will guide you through each and every step of the way. And believe me when I say; ‘yes, you will create whatever she sets you to create’ – just in your own version! In our case it was: “Complementary colour Owls”.
Why the concept works so well
As adults, we are more prone to fear of being ridiculed for any anything we deem to be mediocre. I can’t think of the number of times I have refused to give a little speech or dance in front of an audience (except at my wedding, sorry my husband, family & friends!) because I think that I am not good enough, and heavens forbid, I’ll make a fool out of myself! Thank heavens then that socially, we do have an antidote for that! I think the fact that the session is run in a way that promotes an ethos of togetherness works very well. It helps to break down barriers and come out of our inhibitions. During the session, we got so carried away, at times we were talking, laughing, sipping wine and even oops, paint water! And at other times it got very quiet as everybody just relaxed into their creativity zone. It helped a lot that there was soothing music playing in the background and Monica’s encouraging words singing in the ear.
Speaking of Monica, I must say that she is an incredible instructor! She listens, she observes, she encourages and even has the knack of making an adult feel – not so silly! Having graduated with a degree in fine arts, Monica left her homeland where employment in her field is scarce, if not under appreciated. In France, she works as a graphic designer and occasionally exhibits her work. She also sells some of her art and holds events such as these. To which of course, we are so grateful for.
A social atmosphere
What I really like about the session is that it is not a typical classroom set-up. It is every bit a social meeting where like minded people get to meet and share something they are passionate about. It’s fun and at the same time you learn something. Also on the social aspect, Toulouse has its fare share of foreigners, thanks to the aviation industry. Such activities are not only a good escape, but also a way of starting new friendships 🙂
A success story
I came out beaming of pride! The whole experience was amazing. I will definitely pick up a paint brush, attempt my colour mixes and conjure some sort of art.
How about you? Have you painted before? Are you tempted to jump on board? I’d love to hear your stories. Dare to share?
Until soon & stay creative!