The VisArts Paint & Sip event started up this year at 5pm on Tuesday in a new and more spacious location of the GMB. There was an abundance of room for students to relax and spread out as well as plenty of space to paint, plenty of wine to sip (both Rivero white and red) and plenty of nibbles to snack on.
Pretty quickly, the participants’ spirit of creativity had been liberally spread about. The event lasted for two hours and there was more than enough time to get crafty. Several large tables had been pushed together and in the high-ceilinged GMB room, it almost felt like attending a banquet except instead of goblets set before the attendees they had little paper cups full of paint-rinsed water. There was more than enough space for several more groups to set up around the table, as well, in little clusters around the diameter of the main table. The atmosphere was friendly and laid-back. Painting your masterpiece on the floor, if it was where you needed to sit, was perfectly okay. People chatted easily with one another in between swallowing wine and swirling paint.
Before any artistry took place members of the VisArts Committee offered me some wine, which was exactly what was needed at that time to ease me into my easel. Some people were burning through sheets of paper while others focused on just the one. It was lovely to see fifty or so different styles spilling onto sheets. Paints and utensils were all provided, and the committee really did an excellent job particularly of sourcing enough paint brushes.
Paint and Sip nights are a great opportunity for any student to unwind after a day of lectures and the library. At this time of year, we are facing bitterly cold weather and probably bitterly drained coffers too after the indulgences of Christmas. We all want to do something fun and relaxing in the evenings, but how many of us are actually willing to face town in these ferociously baltic nose-nipping January weather conditions? Paint and Sip provided a perfect place to socialise without all that effort of getting ready for the pub in a bedroom that, depending on your landlord, may be so cold that you run the risk of suffering from exposure. It was a lovely alternative to utter winter-night hibernation, and it was great to immediately swap the new Moleskine planner for a glass of free Rivero and a paintbrush after leaving the Library.