News / Halifax

Brushes and beer: Paint Nite inspiring people of Halifax to drink creatively

Much different than an art class, organizers say, with plenty of fun to be had.

People enjoy Paint Nite at the Rockbottom Brew Pub last weekend.

Jeff Harper/Metro

People enjoy Paint Nite at the Rockbottom Brew Pub last weekend.

In pubs around Halifax, paint brushes are becoming as popular as a beer.

Paint Nite Halifax sees bar patrons put brushes to canvas for a two-hour, artist-led social painting session.

It’s designed for people with no artistic experience and encourages people to “drink creatively,” said Kourtney Prentice, licensee for Paint Nite Halifax.

“It’s very different from an art class. It’s more about the party atmosphere — having fun and relaxing,” said Prentice as nearly 50 people in green aprons chatted in front of canvases at a recent event at Rockbottom Brew Pub.

Each event features a different painting that all participants simultaneously attempt to recreate step-by-step under the direction of an artist.

“It’s a unique alternative to a night at the movies or a dinner date,” said Prentice, adding that participants have been a mix of women and men.

“Some people find they have a talent they didn’t know existed.”

Paint Nite’s reception in Halifax has been overwhelming, said Prentice.

Since launching in late September, Prentice has had a tough time keeping up with demand. Paint Nite events are already sold out into January.

Prentice said most of the artists who lead the classes are university students studying art or with a background in art.

Lisa Tsitrin, a marine biology student at Dalhousie University who had led several Paint Nite events, said painting isn’t just for artists  — it’s for everyone."

“To me, art is a way to express myself,” said Tsitrin as Drake’s “Hotline Bling” blared over speakers. “Although we all paint the same subject, everybody’s artwork looks different at the end of the night.

“And that’s not because people have different experience levels. It’s because the painting reflects the person.”

Karen Du Plooy smiled as she added blue paint to her canvas at a recent event at Rockbottom Brew Pub.

Du Plooy said she had never painted before Paint Nite. It was her second time attending an event.

“It’s a really fun night out and in two hours you have a really nice piece of art that you can hang on your wall,” said Du Plooy, sitting on a tall bar stool in front of her canvas and paints.

“I don’t consider myself a super creative person but that’s why I like it because really, anyone can do it.”

Prentice is hoping to bring on more pubs and bars to host events around HRM and eventually across the Maritimes. She’s also looking at expanding to offer corporate events.

Check out these upcoming Paint Nite events:

‘Icy Winter Stream:’ Jan. 5, 7 p.m., Gahan House, $45

‘First Snowfall:’ Jan. 6, 7 p.m., Gahan House, $45

‘Sunset Heart Tree:’ Jan. 24, 3 p.m., Rockbottom Brew Pub, $45

‘Lavender Moonlit Silhouette:’ Jan. 25, Gahan House, $45

More on