Paint Nite At The Cape Milner Hotel
There are three types of adults: Those who paint, those who used to paint, and those who never painted. But if you take all of us back to childhood, you will find a time when we all loved to paint. We painted with our fingers and with brushes, on walls and paper, when we were allowed to and when we weren’t, and, occasionally, we ate the paint too … But as we grow older we are told that the act of painting, which once made us so happy, was a waste of time, that our creations are no good, and that we need to grow up. So we forget about painting altogether.
“In every real man a child is hidden that wants to play.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche
“If you hear a voice within you that says you cannot paint, then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.” ~ Vincent von Gogh
Our Paint Journey
I am one of those people who fall into the used-to-paint category. Our home is literally covered in my paintings. I have a cupboard filled with blank canvasses, paint, and my favourite brushes. But I haven’t touched them in years. The seriousness of life just took over. My sister Benike falls into the never-painted category. Like most people, she happily created art when she was a kid. And then she just stopped.
What is Paint Nite?
But then a magical thing happened. The Cape Milner invited us to attend one of their Paint Nites. I literally raced home to my sis, said I didn’t care what we had planned, we were gonna attend this event and that is that. Sometimes big sister trumps I Love Foodies owner … Heehee. I digress.
We’ve all heard about paint nights before. Basically, there is a finished painting that a bunch of people get to recreate with guidance from an artist. Often there is wine and food involved. And everyone I have ever spoken to has had a blast doing it.
Turns out The Cape Milner has been doing it monthly with the original Paint Nite team for years! Paint Nite started off in a bar in Boston in 2012 and has been going strong ever since! FYI – Paint Nite is rebranding as Yaymaker to include a bunch of other creative experiences, but more on that later.
The Set-Up of the Evening
Having never attended a Paint Nite before, Benike and I arrived at The Cape Milner with literally no idea what was gonna happen. We joined a room filled with about 25 laughing and excited people and knew we were in for a good time. The tables were set up with a blank canvas on an easel for each person, a palette with paint on it, a big and smaller paint brush, and a cup of water to rinse brushes in. In the front of the room, our artist and leader of the night, Linda, had set up the Moonlight Garden painting that we would get to recreate, as well as a blank canvas for her to demonstrate on.
The Foodie Side of Things
First things first, Benike and I looked over the light meals menu. We decided on truffle and cheese croquettes (R70), blue cheese and red onion aranchini (R65) and the Caesar salad with chicken (R98). There are assorted tapas, salads, gourmet sandwiches, deluxe wraps, burgers, and other light meals to choose from. To drink, we chose an apple and kiwi daiquiri (R75) and a classic cosmopolitan (R70).
Linda officially opened the night and welcomed us all. We unwrapped our canvases and put on the aprons provided. And then we made The Pledge. Hand on blank canvas, we promised to not judge ourselves and to have fun. And then it was time for the first step.
Linda demonstrated how to create a watery blue by dipping the big brush in water and mixing it with a bit of dark blue acrylic paint. She then painted this watery wash over her blank canvas. Then it was our turn to follow suit. While we painted, the music was turned on, people laughed, wine was sipped, and cocktails were served (yummy!). When we had all completed step one, the music was turned down again, and Linda demonstrated the next step. Again, we followed, music played, food was munched on (very yummy), and more laughter.
And so the evening continued. We ate, drank, laughed, and painted. Step by step, layer by layer, we moved from blues to purples to pinks and whites, and, eventually, yellow. Artworks were created. Everyone was happy and it was evident why so many people return time and time again. Looking around the room, each painting was a just a little bit different. Personalities were coming through. Every single painting was perfect in its own way. No one judged their own paintings or those of others. And, more importantly, everyone was having fun.
Two hours later, we had all created our own Moonlight Garden. Were they artworks in the traditional sense? No, of course not. But that is not what they are supposed to be. They are works of art in the way that they prove that anyone has the right to paint and enjoy it.
Benike, who did not think she could do it, created something magical. And I, who haven’t painted in so long, remembered what I loved about it so much. And, yes, we had a fantastic time. Our two versions of Moonlight Garden are now displayed proudly side by side on a wall in our home. Right where they belong!
Experience Paint Nite
Paint Nite takes place monthly at The Cape Milner Hotel from 19:00 – 21:00. The cost includes all the supplies you will need on the night (paint, brushes, and apron) and, of course, the canvas that you will paint on and take home. Food and drinks are excluded, but you are welcome to order what you like!
The usual price for Paint Nite is R610, but there is a 45% discount for The Cape Milner events, which makes it a super cool R335.50! You can book for the events via the Cape Milner Events Facebook page, which shows you the upcoming Paint Nite details as well as the discount code. You can also have a look at the Paint Nite website or visit them on Facebook. As mentioned, Paint Nite is rebranding as Yaymaker, meaning there will also be fun creative events like “Design a Sign” and “Candle Maker” soon.
A huge thank you to Gillian and The Cape Milner for always welcoming I Love Foodies so warmly and, of course, to Linda and the entire Paint Nite SA/Yaymaker team!
Article Date: February 2019
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