London Date Idea – Pop Up Painting

I’ve always been a bit of a big kid, but I have to admit, I can’t remember the last time I last picked up a paintbrush for anything other than DIY!

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So when I spotted Pop Up Painting – a London-based painting class, which runs several times a week all over the city, I quickly persuaded The Rugby Boy that we needed to try it out!  Now the thing about the Rugby Boy, which you may guess from his name, is that he’s a sportsman … and a rather competitive one.  Which means anything with an air of competition is quickly turned into one!  Our first date, at Urban Golf was definitely a victory for TRB (and not just because he bagged me!).  I’m appalling at golf!  But when it came to painting, I reckoned I might be able to do a bit better.

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We attended a Friday night session at Brasserie Blanc, near the South Bank.  The theme for the evening was Paris – inspired by a painting of the Eiffel Tower by Brazilian artist Tom Veiga.  There was Paris-inspired music playing, and one attendee had even chosen to wear a beret for the evening!  There were roughly 20 of us, each with a designated blank canvas, a book easel, and three paintbrushes of different sizes.

We were encouraged to drink, being told that our paintings would get infinitely better the drunker we got!  And then after some housekeeping, a French artist began talking us through the painting and showing us how to create our own version.  The example was in different colours already to Tom Veiga’s piece, however we were told we weren’t restricted to using the same colours, or even painting the same thing, if we didn’t want to.

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Drinks in hand, the Rugby Boy and I set to work on our paintings.  He had an early advantage, as midway through painting my blue sky, I decided to resort to purple.  As I fell farther behind the class, TRB began to get rather cocky that he was going to ‘win’ the competition.  He obviously never read the tortoise and the hair as a child!  We stopped for a break half way in, to allow the darker colours on our canvas some time to dry.  It was our first opportunity to see what other people had done, and there was a real variety – a couple of people weren’t even painting the tower.  Others had rather dark interpretations!  We stopped for some appetisers – cold meats, small cups of soup, cheese and bread, and a glass of wine, before settling back down to work, with a fresh cup of water and clean brushes.

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After about an hour and a half, we were done – each with very different interpretations of the Parisian landmark!  About ten minutes from the end, the guy on my other side leaned over to tell me how nice mine looked, at which point I pretty much knew I’d ‘won’!! Not that it’s a competition, obviously … 😉

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It was really good fun, and I’d definitely go again.  Both the Rugby Boy and I commented on how relaxed we were for a Friday night – it was really easy to relax and chill, and to be honest by the end we weren’t too fussed by the end results, it was just a great night!  That said …. we got to take our finished pieces home, though TRB may have joked a couple of times about accidentally losing his on the way home!  I wouldn’t recommend going anywhere afterwards, if you want to keep your canvas, as they’re quite large.  But it was a great value night – events vary depending on location, but are all around the £25 mark – and a really fun, relaxing, different evening at the end of a busy week. Definitely a date night to remember!  And the great thing is they do heaps of other paintings and styles too – including pop art and Banksy!  Sign me up!

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Miss Twenty-Nine xxx

(PS, no I’m not standing in a hole … he’s 6 foot 8!)

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