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Meet the founders...
We run The Paint Club, one of the longest standing paint & sip companies in the UK. We have been running for over 7 years. We set up the business purely to share our passion for painting. If you have been to an event you may have been taught by John, and if you have ever contacted us it is likely you spoke to Alice. We met whilst at University. John studied fine Art, and Alice studied Design. It is safe to say that creativity runs through our veins! We have just celebrated 7 years of The Paint Club! Our little side hustle has become our sole focus. What was once John painting and teaching from our favourite pub in Eton, has turned into a fully functioning business, with events across the UK, run by a team of 14 artists! John is a professional artist. 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 . Alice moved from design in to people management and events management. This is something that has been particularly helpful given that we now run upwards of 500 events every year. We enjoy working together. It is great being able to make decisions and test out ideas almost as soon as they are formed. We both have experience of working in corporates, and businesses with huge teams. Our previous experience means we are able to draw on our own skills and knowledge. This has allowed us to grow the business organically. For us the most important thing is to find the right artist. Our small team of artists are all passionate about the same thing, and that is painting. Each one of them is individual and brings their own style to our events. They love to show people the joy of painting. We know that painting is good for the mind. It helps you switch off and allows emotional release. Getting into the zone, also known as a flow state is known to be good for mental wellbeing. (You can read more about this here . ) Everyone leads such busy lives these days, and sometimes it is hard to find the time to slow down and switch off. We see the impact that painting has on our customer's well-being and it is one of the things that spurs us on. The most common thing we hear at the end of an event is someone saying 'it was so nice to switch off and have some down time, you can't think about anything else when you are painting.' It is true, you can't. We love being a part of that experience with our customers, and seeing the joy, feeling of relaxation and sense of achievement at the end of our events. Both of us are passionate about health and well-being, creativity and painting. In our down time we like to walk our dog, have coffee at our local cafe with friends, go on adventures with our 6 year old, and take on new challenges. We live & breathe The Paint Club. We are so proud of what we have achieved together, and we are looking forward to the year ahead. If you want to get in touch with us, please email email@example.com to find out more. #paintandsip #smallbusiness #wellbeingevents #thepaintclubuk
The best way to clean and care for your painting
As time goes by it's inevitable that your painting hanging on the living room wall will start to accumulate dust. So what is the best way to keep your work of art looking as fresh as the day you painted it? The easiest way to clean up any oil or acrylic painting on canvas or canvas board is simply by using a white cotton cloth soaked in water with a little soap. Start by rubbing the cloth over the surface of the painting to gently remove any dust and grime. If your painting style is quite thick (impasto 🧑🎨 ) be careful not to rub too hard and break off any lumps and bumps. We've put together a simple step-by-step guide on how to clean your canvas here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KwDvWy3AjuE For works on paper, if the paint is non-water based, gently rubbing a white cotton cloth over the painting should be enough to remove any dust and grime that has gathered on the surface. If the surface of the canvas has sagged a little from the stretcher, the easiest way to tighten it up again is by spraying a little water onto the back of the canvas. As the water dries, the canvas will contract back to how it was when you painted it. The steps above should help with cleaning the majority of paintings. If however, you have something a little more delicate or the painting is damaged and in need of repair, it could be worth contacting a local art restorer who should be able to advise on how to help. Hopefully this has helped you restore your paintings to their former colourful glory!
Queens & Frenchies
Did you know that we do commissions? We really enjoy creating one-off pieces for clients and events. We had great fun splatting paint for a piece celebrating The Queens Platinum Jubilee. We also produced a special piece for a hen party. The French Bull dog is the bride's pup, and was a joy to create. Painting is what we do! If you would like to work with us for a private event, team event, hen party, birthday party, art workshop or to host your very own paint and sip at home, get in touch!
I started writing this over a week ago after listening to a podcast by Steven Bartlett. This one was with Johann Hari, they discussed focus, and how we are all losing it. If you’re interested the podcast is titled Diary of a CEO . They talked about the constant bombardment of notifications, emails, messages, social media, etc and the distractions they cause, which in turn leads to us being less able to focus. It has taken me over a week to write this because I, like most, am finding the terrible events taking place in Ukraine incredibly upsetting. It is hard to focus when something as awful as war is at the forefront of your mind. The podcast got me thinking. We receive some lovely feedback from people we work with about the sense of achievement they feel from completing a painting. Teams and individuals say how they enjoyed having the time to do something for themselves, to take on a new creative challenge and to relax. Creating is good for you, it relaxes the mind and body, we already knew that. What I hadn’t thought about was that people get so engrossed in our sessions that they don’t check their phones. At the end of the event they feel refreshed, relaxed, proud of themselves. Perhaps part of that is due to the fact that they have allowed themselves to get into the zone, or as Johann Hari suggested, a state of flow. Without the pressure to check emails and answer messages, they allowed their minds to wander and to create freely. How often do we allow ourselves time to completely switch off and focus on something fully? When was the last time you were in a flow state? The Headspace website describes a flow state or being in ‘the zone’, “as a “sense of fluidity between your body and mind, where you are totally absorbed by and deeply focused on something, beyond the point of distraction.” Can you remember the last time you allowed yourself to avoid any distraction and to be utterly absorbed by something? I try to have time away from my phone, to remind myself that I don’t always have to be doing something. The emails and messages can wait. I walk most days to give my mind a chance to escape, to slow down. The news, the weather and a general feeling of ‘meh’ has left me feeling less inspired than usual and my walks haven’t quite hit the spot. However, after a challenging boxing session yesterday I felt much clearer, less groggy. Turns out that punching a bag in a controlled way feels great. I definitely felt myself get into the zone. No phone, just me, my trainer and some gloves. At the end of the session I was reluctant to pick up my phone and re-engage with the world. In the same way that some turn to art, or painting, writing or running, the gym is my escape, my hour to myself. What can you do for yourself this week to unwind? I have recently started following Lessa Renee on instagram. Leesa’s most recent post is about how the information we are reading and watching at the moment might feel ‘too much’. How those who are highly sensitive and deep feeling may be feeling overwhelmed and overstimulated. Leesa’s suggestions were to journal, to create, to amplify and to play. ( Here is the post . ) If you are feeling overwhelmed, give yourself permission to switch off, to disengage and to do something for you. Meditation, a walk, creating, writing, watching a film (without your phone next to you!), exercise, baking, something that fills you with a sense of calm, something that will help to calm your nervous system. Take some time for yourself, and perhaps it will bring back your focus. Photo by Stefan Cosma on Unsplash
The Paint Club: Update Feb 2022
Well January was fun! It started off fairly quiet and by the end of the month we felt like we were running on adrenaline! We launched a new product on our online shop. A painting mug set. It features a video to follow or to give you some inspiration, a full set of porcelain pens, a lovely white mug and some super tasty sweets. We’ve had some great feedback so far and appreciate anyone who took the time to share or comment. We started hosting paint and sip events at a number of new venues. We have 3 new venues in the London area and 2 in Brighton. We have quite a few more venues joining us in the coming months, including a couple in Cambridge, The Magpie in Sunbury-on-Thames, George and Dragon in Horsham and this month sees us at The Highlands in Uckfield. We are also very excited to be working with Rum Kitchen, Brighton. It’s such a fun venue, with great food and fantastic cocktails. Already popular for hen parties! Virtual event enquiries didn’t stop and have kept us busy throughout January. We love doing these events as they allow groups from across the country, and the world, to get together for some fun and creativity without having to change out of their pyjamas or leave the kids. The virtual paint party wasn’t a thing until 2020 and now it’s our most common request. It’s also the time of year when hen party enquiries ramp up. It’s so great to be getting more enquiries for sip and paint in person events and to be able to be part of the fun for corporate away days and private paint parties. Paint and sip, paint party, Paint Club, paint and Prosecco, virtually, in person, pre recorded or a hybrid of them all, we love running these events. It makes us so happy seeing your creations, hearing the laughs and seeing your smiling faces. Please do tag us in your posts on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn, or just drop us an email with your pictures. A & J x
How to set up a virtual paint and sip party.
Painting parties, paint and sip, paint and prosecco, paint nights, whatever you want to call them, they have become pretty popular in recent years. During the last 2 years of covid, virtual paint and sip events have risen in popularity. They're the perfect opportunity to connect with colleagues, friends and family. We have run virtual events for thousands of people since March 2020. We have sent out approximately 6000 parcels and have hosted global events for family, friends and teams. What do you need for a Paint party? Equipment We keep our equipment lists and our event packs simple. For a virtual paint night you’ll need: Acrylic paint Paintbrushes A surface to paint on such as canvas, cartridge paper or even board. A palette A pot of water Choosing your equipment When choosing your paint, look for student or artist quality acrylics. Artist quality paint will have a higher pigment, and will produce bolder paintings, though the paints will be more expensive. You don't need much paint, so you can go for the smaller 10-12ml tubes. Our basic palette is always black, white, blue, red and yellow. You can buy a set with more colours and experiment a bit. When you book your event with us, we can provide all the equipment you need and post it directly to you and all your attendees. This means that everyone has the same kit as each other, and the artist. Setting up You will need to lay down some newspaper, a waterproof table cloth or even use the cardboard from one of our postal boxes to protect your table. You can then unwrap your canvas, fill up a pot with water (an old jam jar works perfectly), open your paints and get your brushes and palette ready. Position your laptop, tablet or mobile phone so you can see it and don’t have to lean down. You may also want to put on an old t-shirt or apron to protect your clothes. Extras If you are hosting a paint and sip, or paint and prosecco style event, you will also need to get your beverage of choice ready. A cup of tea is also a great way to relax and unwind with painting. We can supply beverages, crisps, sweet bags, chocolate… or anything else you may fancy! We work with some fantastic suppliers to provide non-alcoholic and alcoholic cocktails too. So what are you waiting for? Book a virtual paint class with The Paint Club. We are the original Paint Club in the UK and are experts in virtual and in-person paint nights. We guarantee that your class is led by an experienced artist. We work with you to create a bespoke virtual paint event to suit your group. Whether you want to use it as a chance to relax, have fun, celebrate, get together, support mental wellbeing, or as an opportunity for your group to meet each other, we can arrange it. If you want to set up your own sip and paint night, get in touch with us via email firstname.lastname@example.org
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 @ thepaintclub.uk 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 @ thepaintclub.uk in Dec 2015, 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 @thepaintclub.uk 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