Do you secretly wish you could hang art of your own creation in your home, but haven't picked up a paintbrush since grade school?
Two local painting party businesses might just be the ticket to help you discover your hidden artistic skills.
Mary-Ann LeClair started Connect & Create Painting Parties a year ago in the fall.
She conducts painting sessions at private events such as birthday parties, bridal showers and corporate team-building sessions, bringing groups through the process of creating artwork, step-by-step.
At the end of the session, participants have a piece of art they can bring home. While everyone's supposed to be creating the same painting, each piece is inevitably a bit different.
LeClair, who also owns the arts-and-crafts business Mary-Ann's Makery, said the parties give people the chance to exercise their creativity, something they don't always get to do in day-to-day life.
“Maybe that's what people are finding, is they need to exercise the right side of their brain,” she said. “We need that balance.”
She said painting parties are trendy right now. LeClair got the idea to start Connect & Create Painting Parties after reading an online article about a similar business in the United States.
Another painting party business called Paint Social also launched in the Nickel City late last year.
Owner Brian Nori's concept is similar to LeClair's, except he holds painting evenings at local bars and restaurants that anybody can attend. He has events coming up at SRO on Jan. 11, Taphouse on Jan. 28 and Salute on Jan. 30.
“This is very popular,” Nori said in a December interview with NorthernLife.ca. “We just premiered two days ago, and we've already sold out five shows. People are excited.”
Paint Social also offers sessions at private parties and corporate events upon request.
A graphic artist and photographer by trade, Nori worked in art therapy at a healing centre in South America before returning to Sudbury. He said he witnessed first-hand how art helped people to heal.
That experience was part of his inspiration to start a painting party business.
“When you're painting, you're present,” Nori said.
“You realize that there's creativity that's within you that you don't feed so often, and when you do feed it, you feel more connected to yourself at the end of it. People leave feeling a little bit better about themselves.”
For more information on these businesses and on upcoming sessions, search for Connect & Create Mobile Painting Parties or Paint Social on Facebook.