Any living creature can be an artist!
By Nhi ‘Jenny’ Vo, Production Assistant
The DSU provides Douglas students with amazing things: free food and student clubs. My favourite perks from the DSU are the fun college events. Back in the good old days, we used to have BBQ parties or movie nights where the DSU would give out popcorn, burgers, or mac-and-cheese. Since the “you-know-what”, they have been doing their best to bring back those events online. I have attended a few: a self-defense workshop, guided meditation, animal therapy, and so on. As the Other Press’ second-best designer who loves creating good art, I find virtual painting nights are the most fascinating of them all.
To paint, we obviously need some paints, unless you’re a weird New York artist who paints with your own blood. We also need a canvas and some brushes. Fortunately, you don’t need to go to Michael’s and get these supplies; the DSU will ship the necessities straight to your door like they’re Amazon. Hence, you need to sign up for the event in advance, as registration closes a week before. If you follow the DSU on social media (@thedsu6), they are likely to post approximately 10 stories per day about the event so you can’t really miss it. When the DSU sends out your supplies, you will receive a UPS link to track your package of supplies and extra goodies (told you they are Amazon). In addition, you’ll need to prepare a glass of water, a dish or a palette, and some napkins.
The DSU partners up with Paint Star Party—a Coquitlam-based company that organizes painting events. The artist owner, Cheyenne Williams, teaches us to create the artwork step-by-step. She is super friendly, encouraging, and patient as we go through each step of the painting. She gives us instructions on how to mix different colours, which brush is the best to use, and how we can “save” the painting if we accidentally make it a little bit unusual. Unlike college classes, most of the students find the painting class’ pace manageable and are able to finish their painting within the time frame of two hours. In the end, we all turn on our cameras and show each other what we have painted. Even though everybody follows the same steps, the outcomes can be very distinctive. For example, in this desert scene, we have different sizes of cacti, different messages on our signs, and different mountain shades.
Personally, from zero to Vincent van Gogh, I’d say my painting level is a two. “C’mon dude! Your layouts are incredible!” said the OP’s readers. Yes, of course, I do know that I make stunning newspaper layouts, but painting a picture from scratch is a far cry from that. In my first Virtual Painting Night, I was super anxious at every brushstroke as I was afraid that I would somehow “ruin” my painting. “That’s not how you’re supposed to do it, idiot,” said Jenny several times. I didn’t quite believe that I could actually paint. However, as I have attended more of these events, I have been feeling much more confident. I wouldn’t say that I’ll have works displayed at the Lourve, but I can look at my paintings with a huge grin. Finally, after four Virtual Painting Nights, I can write this article and proudly show you what I have created. I do believe that any living creature can create a masterpiece, including the elephants in Thailand. FYI, Thai elephants can paint better than me!
The DSU is very likely to coordinate another Painting Night in the fall semester. By then, if it is safe again, we can all gather on campus and paint our bums off! Don’t be afraid to sign up to try painting for the first time. As the legendary Bob Ross says: “We don’t make mistakes, just happy little accidents.”