Behind the scenes at Ottawa’s Paint Nite

Joyce Menyasz sets up nine table easels in preparation for her guests at the Paint Nite event in Barrhaven. She pours white, red, blue and black paint onto white plates and places them gently next to the easels.

Once her guests take their seats, she smiles and asks with a laugh, “Who’s ready to drink? I mean, paint creatively?”

On Jan. 23, Menyasz took up the role as Paint Nite’s local partner for Ottawa west where she uses her skills and prior experience as an instructor to teach and entertain her crowd.

“When I was a child I was very creative, colouring outside of the lines as soon as I was allowed,” says Menyasz. “[I] took a few art classes during university and then I had to grow up and get a real job. I didn’t pick up a paintbrush again until I went to my first paint night two years ago.”

Paint Nite events are held almost every day in various locations across Ottawa. Anyone aged 19 and up can attend one of the events no matter their skill level.

Kasandra Lina, 22, who is starting the office administration program at Algonquin in the fall, says that she has attended two Paint Nite events.

“I feel like with drawing you have to be precise about it,” says Lina, who has been painting for two years. “But [with] painting I feel like you could go abstract and it still ends up looking really good.”

Lina says the different instructors all take it step-by-step, but some are quicker than others which may cause some painters to fall behind.

“[Joyce] tends to walk around the room and have more one-on-one time with people,” she says. “If they fall behind she’ll go and she’ll talk with you and figure things out with you [which is great].”

After every event these artists host, they leave with a smile on their face and a feeling of success knowing they helped their students refine their skills and leave with a beautiful piece of art.

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