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We can do this.

As we enter another lockdown it’s hard to stay positive. A new year and no new start. We are all just exactly where we were before...Except we aren’t, if you’re reading this you are surviving a global pandemic. You have got through 10 months of this, and you can keep going. I read something the other day that stuck with me. It was about finding something to look forward to. We have to keep going, we have to find the joys in the small things and we have to give ourselves something to look forward to. It could be a bar of chocolate, a workout, a walk or your favourite TV show. It could even be a paint class. Find something that you can do to give yourself some time, some space and something to give you a little moment of joy. If you are struggling in anyway reach out to someone. We are all in this together. Find those calm moments, those moments of peace wherever you can. If John & I can help in anyway by providing online sessions please do get in touch. We know this is a tough time and we know how much being creative can support mental well-being. So we are here for you if you need us. Sending love to everyone.

A bit about who we are.

For those of you who have followed for a while you probably already know a bit about John & me. For those who haven’t ‘met’ us before here’s a little intro. We set up in Dec 2016, we’ve just had our 4 year business anniversary! It started off as a bit of fun in a great little place in Eton @theetonmess. Within a few months it was selling out and we had requests for more so we took on a few new venues, a couple of artists...the rest as they say is history! John & I met at Loughborough University back in 2007. He did art, I did design. We moved in together in 2009 and started dreaming up business ideas! After graduating I worked in design for a bit and John moved into marketing. We’ve always loved a project and make a pretty good team, so working together is easy. We set up The Paint Club when we lived in Windsor. Since then we have moved down to Sussex and live just outside of the historic town, Lewes. I grew up round here so it felt good to move back. John is a very talented artist, I might be a bit biased. This is his website if you're interested. He has exhibited at galleries like Saatchi, The Mall Galleries and The Royal Academy. He’s won a few rather prestigious awards including Lynn Painter Stainer's Young Artist Award. He works in marketing and has worked with a number of brilliant companies over the years. I love design, but I’ve spent most of my career managing people, projects or events. I’ve also worked for some amazing businesses across many different industries. I now work full time running The Paint Club and The Colt Bar, and feel lucky that I'm able to use the skills I learnt as a people manager and event planner every day. We both enjoy keeping fit. John cycles and runs, we did the 312 in Mallorca together last year. John is now training for his next challenge. I don't cycle much anymore as I prefer weight training and walking. We both love travelling and can’t wait to safely explore the world again. We have the same favourite colour, blue. We both wear a lot of black. People tell John he looks like Cillian Murphy, who we named, Murphy, our miniature dachshund after. I get told I look like really random people so lets not go there. We are pretty good at reading the other person’s mind so are good at games like charades, and probably spend a lot of our time communicating in single words or gestures as we can usually guess what the other is about to say. We have a gorgeous little boy and have become even more driven since he was born. We like to create and dream big, and we hope that he will learn from this and aspire to be or do something great one day. When we have ideas we usually test them out as soon as we can, and often just go for it. This is the reason we now have a vintage Peugeot J7 horsebox parked up on our drive waiting to be turned into a cocktail bar @thecoltbar . I recently trained as a mixologist, and can't wait to get some cocktail making practise in over Christmas when we have a bit more time to relax. We try not to take life to seriously and we genuinely love putting the hours in the keep The Paint Club going. So, that’s us in a nut shell. #lewes #smallbusiness #sussex #thepaintclubuk

An evening of drinks, banter & painting

Myself and colleagues decided to upgrade our usual night at the pub to a night at the pub, at The Paint Club. And we were so glad we did. If you’d like to get creative in an, inclusive environment, either with friends or for some you-time, then give Paint Club a try. ​ We went along to the Railway Inn in Portslade  (there are plenty of other venues listed here). After grabbing a glass of wine and a quick bite to eat we sat down in the private room which is set up with chairs, easels, paint and brushes. Once settled, we all said hello to our fellow Paint Clubbers before John our host artist talked us through the scene we’d all be painting - in this case a wolf silhouetted against a moon. Not your typical painting class The best thing about Paint Club (aside from being able to drink throughout) is that you can take it all at your own pace. Two ladies next to me had a good old catch up whilst painting away. Our group followed John’s guidance step by step, whilst the lady next to me chose her own palette entirely and decided to go off piste with her own interpretation of the scene we were painting. Another group giggled from start to finish, which was highly infectious. (There might also have been some mild cursing when things didn’t go to plan - all part of the fun). However we approached it, we all came away with our own canvas to take home. One gent was so pleased with his creation he asked the pub to hang it above the door, which they duly did! My friend now has a collection of about 10 paint club canvases on her wall! Whether you are a seasoned artist or a complete beginner, looking to improve your skills or for a bit of fun, you’ll enjoy Paint Club. For us it was the perfect antidote to a long day at the office. ​ Book your first Paint Club now or stay up to date with new events on Facebook or Instagram Authored by the wonderful @mipsmm

Why painting is good for your mind, body and soul.

Life in the way of art Why do so many of us produce less creative work as we get older? As children, so many of us played instruments, painted, danced or simply lost ourselves in imaginative play before adult life came and took away our time, and, in many cases our creative confidence. Then there’s the will to do it - often at the end of a busy day, you are just so tired that all you feel capable of is vegging in front of Netflix or heading to the pub for a much-needed catch up with friends. The main barrier to it though, is the feeling that activity has to be productive, not enjoyed for its own sake. I think of all the hours I used to spend holed in my room painting away for my own enjoyment, happy and content in my internal world. Now, I feel as if I don’t deserve the time to devote to it, that there’s practical stuff I could be doing instead - isn’t there always something to be done around the house or on our life admin list? But it doesn’t have to be this way.  The trick is to work creativity into your routine and justify its importance to your daily life above other things. The second trick is to just enjoy it no matter what the result is and to do it because it’s good for your wellbeing- as mindfulness practice has proven. Get thee to The Paint Club! This is why Paint Club is the perfect dose of creativity for time-stretched, life-stretched people. In a way it’s a three in one evening- you can go to the pub, take friends and get creative in a fun, relaxed environment- no judgement, just fun. Plus, you get a canvas to walk away with so that’s your productivity box ticked right there. Authored by the wonderful @mipsmm