Explore | Adult Art Class at 4Cats Nanaimo!

I would say I’m a pretty artistic person – I’m an avid photographer & videographer, I love to crochet, and I’m a DIY-nerd. You know what I’m not? A painter.

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Life has been pretty dull for me the last few months so any chance I get to try something new, I go for it (and, uh, hello, blog material). Which is why, when I came across 4Cats, I knew I had to flex my paint muscles.

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4Cats is a “hive of creativity”. They encourage everyone to enjoy a creative lifestyle, proclaiming that art is for everyone (we couldn’t agree more!). People may know 4Cats as a studio for children’s art classes, but they also provide a multitude of classes for adults from pottery to clay-making to painting (and more). Which brings us to the heart of this blog post – my foray into painting.

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However, I couldn’t attempt this feat alone so I enlisted to help of my mom, Liz:

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She’s pretty artsy too (don’t let her tell you otherwise) but I think it’s fair to say that she’s just as much a painter as I am (ie: not). With that in mind, you can see how we were a mix of nerves and excitement walking up  to Nanaimo’s 4Cats studio in Lantzville.

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Every workshop that 4Cats puts on is centred around a different art discipline and a theme to go along with said discipline. I was super keen on our workshop – I Dream in Colour. For this workshop we’d be painting an ocean/mountain landscape (how west coast) with a setting sun using acrylic paint on canvas.

image courtesy of 4Cats/4Cats Nanaimo

image courtesy of 4Cats/4Cats Nanaimo

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The great thing with 4Cats is that they have artists to help guide you through the class – which is great for Liz and I as we were fish out of the proverbial water. Our two master guides were “Painty Paul” and “Tarariffic” who helped guide us through our masterpieces.

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What I love about the setup at 4Cats is that even though you have a themed art piece to follow, you can totally inject your own style into your artwork. I mean, take my base and my mom’s base:

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They couldn’t be anymore different! In fact, looking around the room you could see everyone’s canvas painted a different picture.

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We relied more heavily on palette knives to create our landscape (which neither of us had used before) but we also used paint brushes to create our dreamy sunset.

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One takeaway that both my mom and I had was that we wished we had planned out our landscapes a bit before hitting the canvas (so to speak). What’s funny is that in the beginning, after painting our base, I was admiring my mom’s canvas, feeling like mine was just kind of a mess of paint splotches. However, after we painted out final stroke, we kind of switched places – I grew to love my mess of paint whereas my mom had wished she stopped painting while she was ahead.

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Having said that, we both greatly enjoyed the 4Cats workshop. It was so much fun to be able to flex unused creative muscles. I find when I’m doing too much of one creative thing, I start to lose inspiration. It’s nice to be able to reinvigorate my creativity by using a different outlet – especially one that’s not used very often.

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I would highly recommend 4Cats workshops – even if you’re not artistic! It was so much fun to just go and create. In fact, I’m already thinking about the next workshop I want to attend! (update: it’s a splatter party! Stay tuned for a blog post on that in August!)

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All workshops are only $25 (+tax) and can last anywhere from ~60-90minutes in length. New classes are posted on the 4Cats Nanaimo Facebook page every Friday at noon. You can also visit the 4Cats Nanaimo website for the current schedule!

I wanna know how you like to express your creativity – do you take photos? Draw? Paint? Crochet? Let’s talk about it in the comments below! :)

– Sean

ps: If you do plan on attending a workshop, make sure you wear clothes that you don’t mind getting messy. 4Cats’ number one rule is to prepare to get paint pretty much anywhere and everywhere!

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