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.


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


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.


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.


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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