PINTS and paint. Not two things I would normally associate with each other. But that changed on October 16th when I attended the launch night of Paint by the Pints in the city.
Paint by the Pints is traditionally a Dublin-based event night where amateur artists can enjoy a drink while creating their own painting. However, it’s now been brought to Limerick, specifically to the back of the very cosy Glen Tavern.
The launch night in Limerick saw a small and intimate group of locals gather together to express their inner artist. It was the perfect group size to ensure a relaxed setting for a fun and memorable night. For myself, and many of the other participants it was the first time I had held a paintbrush since Leaving Cert Art class, so I wasn’t expecting to create a masterpiece.
Despite this, I was excited at the prospect of going to the pub and doing something with purpose for a change. As soon as I walked in, I was warmly greeted by the artist Ciara and prepped on the evening I would be enjoying. I happily accepted my free drink token and with a pint of Appleman’s in hand settled into my seat for 2 hours of nothing but painting and socialising. Everyone was delighted to see the black aprons provided so as not to be a mess of paint by the end of the evening.
So, with my apron securely fastened and a few sips taken from my pint glass I was ready for the evening ahead.
Ciara made the experience fun and entertaining straight from the get-go settling the newbies into the world of art and putting those of us that were rusty at ease. We were first instructed to mix colours together on the palette to create any colours we needed for the painting. Of course, Ciara helped us with the colour combinations and then we set off with our first brush stroke, painting the orange sunset background.
It was quite a liberating experience, providing a release from the everyday stresses of life. Moreover, it created a space where I could become blissfully unaware of everything outside and focus solely on recreating my own version of Ciara’s artistry. Although, everyone was given the same instructions we all put our own spin on Ciara’s direction and demonstrated very different techniques among the small group.
The most interesting aspect of the evening for me, however, was the apparent openness of all the attendees; be it socialising with strangers, observing and complimenting each other’s work, or their willingness to try something new and different. It’s not something that we see enough of in today’s society and that’s exactly why Paint by the Pints is an exciting addition to Limerick’s social scene.
Sure, you can go for a pint any night of the week in Limerick City, but you won’t take away your own painted canvas at the end of the night.