It seems like overnight different variations of paint nights have popped up all over — and people are enjoying picking up a paintbrush and creating. After many friends asking over the years about painting, wondering if I could show them how, and starting to attend paint nights and raving about them I decided to start offering paint nights in my own home for friends — hence the name Paint Pals.
Paint Pals has grown quickly and I am now receiving requests for private girl’s night out parties, as well as requests to go other places like church groups, sales meetings for team building, and private parties in homes. It has taken on a life of its own in the last few months.
But for any of you who do this, what I find as a challenge is creating the paintings that a non-painter can paint well enough in 2 hours time. A few nights stretched into a third hour as people struggled to complete the painting – never mind the finishing touches I might have added myself. It’s made me step back and really think about the teaching element when I am relying on nearly 35 years of ingrained painting experience, and finding the right level for a group of people with varying skill levels.
I am reminded of my art teacher in school and I wonder if they ever got frustrated – teaching a class with different artistic skill levels and keeping the class moving at the right pace to keep the artistic kids challenged and the ones with no skills motivated. All teachers for that matter need to teach to the common denominator — but in small at home classes I find I can give individual attention that the big classes at restaurants and bars and storefronts can’t give given their class sizes.
I’ve been creating paintings to see build a Paint Pals calendar and I force myself to paint differently – modifying my style, number of colors, etc to offer paintings that people can do and be happy with.
I’d love to hear from other artists that get involved with teaching these types of classes — what works and doesn’t work! What subject matters are the most wanted? How to keep students moving along? How to gear subject paintings skill level? In the meantime, I will continue to hone my skills as a teacher to hopefully deliver the best customer experience I can to those who sign up for my classes!