My night at Pop-up painting commenced at 19:30 pm in the Urban Meadows Café in Notting Hill. I had never heard of pop-up painting but found the idea really intriguing. With a selling point of “Wine glass in one hand, Paintbrush in the other”, my only question was “What’s not to like?”
Upon my arrival at the Urban Meadows Café, I noticed a separate area for us artists. After buying a drink from the bar, my friend and I made our way in to the already full artist’s area where large empty canvases awaited us. The night was entitled ‘Paint like Picasso’ and there was an abstract painting of a large dog that hung on the wall of Urban Meadows Café.In the session, the painting we were trying to replicate was not a Picasso painting. However, it perfectly resembled the abstract style he was so well known for. Picasso was a co-founder of the cubist movement. Analytical cubists used forms like the cylinder, sphere and cone to represent the natural world on a two- dimensional painting. The style we followed replicated that, with the group jotting down different shapes to develop a completed painting.
The session kicked off immediately at 19:30 as we were greeted by the founder of the company and manager of the event Phyllissa. There was a brief rules and regulations moment where we were told to respect the venue, a bit of background about the company, and what to do if we got paint on any furniture or on our clothes. Then we formed an orderly queue to get our paint and aprons. A professional artist painted on a blank canvas directly under the original paintingand stood at the front of the group, we began to paint theshapes slowly in unison and the fun began.
…It is an opportunity to rediscover your passion for painting…
In the beginning, the idea that anyone can paint seemed a bit optimistic. However, throughout the night we each developed a painting that somewhat resembled the one before us and I was quite proud of my painting attempt! There is an inviting quality to the idea of painting together as a group, and we were encouraged to match the colours of the paintings to the colour pallet of our own homes.
The event was a total of two and a half hours and I would recommend going with a friend because I found added fun in my friend and I comparing our works of art and encouraging each other. I had assumed that we would have plenty of time to catch up in this session, but it is quite busy and requires a good bit of focus. They lead you through the painting step by step and helpers come around the room to advise you on technique. The helper that attended really made a massive difference to my experience with her positivity and subtle encouragement. The evening is largely structured with a ten-minute break in the middle of the session and the painting is also structured. They play French and Spanish music throughout the session to evoke different sensations.
I would describe this unique experience as fun and calming. It is an opportunity to rediscover your passion for painting.Although, I took a particular interest in Picasso, there are many different themes such as pizza & painting, prosecco & painting, art deco, as well as Van Gogh, Monet and Banksythemed events. Some of the events even replicate specific paintings such as Van Gogh’s iconic Starry Night. There are also many different venues. The group run the events at throughout London and events in Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham and Liverpool.
If you interested in trying this night with a twist, here is the website where you can take a look at what they offer and book:
PopupPainting will give 10% off for YOU our reader for any London weekday event until 31st May add the code THOSELONDONCHICKS
There’s no excuse now!!
Reviewed by Ciara Kelleher
Ciara is an Irish actress, writer and presenter. She completed a BA in International Business in Ireland before moving to London to pursue acting. She has previously published an article with Concern and lived in Luxembourg and South Carolina. She completed the Advanced Intensive Acting Diploma at the Giles Foreman Centre for Acting and has taken on roles such as Queen Margaret, Hazel in ‘Mourning Becomes Electra’ and Cassandra in ‘Women of Troy’ and has written for Radio HaHa!