‘Go to an art class’ was one of two items on my list of things to do last year that I never did. If only I had added it to this year’s list as I’m now signed up to a 10-week illustration course and, just for fun, I attended a paint and wine class with some friends. We were painting highland landscapes with popcorn, wine and complete strangers. Only once did Rose dip her paint brush in her wine glass(!).
The class was run by a lady called Jenny at The Art Club Edinburgh in Canonmills. The paint and wine classes cost £35 and happen on Saturdays from 7-9pm with themes such as Van Gogh, Modigliani, seascapes, crashing waves, highland coo and more. We chose a Scottish theme and painted ‘Highland Landscapes’ on a dark February night.
Jenny pours you a wine, introduces the materials (we got to use really good acrylics which not all art and wine workshops provide, especially some you find in London where you only get to use weak, watery paints). Then she demonstrates the ‘outline’ of the landscape on her own easel which we later mimic, adding our own flourishes. It goes on like this, Jenny stopping us every so often to demonstrate a few techniques, guiding us without sapping our individuality.
It was impressive how quickly the landscapes took their shape in front of us. I most enjoyed painting the sky and deciding how moody I wanted it to feel. Adding the snow was a different story – as soon as I dolloped on the white I wished it could melt away!
The studio is beautiful and comfortable to work in, and you can adjust the easel heights depending on whether you prefer to sit or stand. We used the basement to refill our water pots and even there the pieces of art from previous classes lift your mood. After the two hours, Jenny asks you to write your name on the masking tape holding up your painting so that you can collect it in a few days once dried. The acrylic does dry very fast though, so if you were really keen to take it away on the night you could. I think if I go again I’d like to try a figure study!