Neighbours who shared the same interest about painting, or came with a curious mind to discover a new passion, gathered at Hastings Community Centre on June 23 and 26, 2014.
The sessions started with chatting, giggling and laughing among participants. Some would walk around the room to browse a selection of reference pictures taken in our beautiful neighbourhood for inspiration. From flowers to buildings, people to landmarks, street scenes to night scenes, spring, summer, fall and winter, participants could easily find an image that spoke to them.
When the time came, our guest instructor Yoko led us in a series of stretching exercises to let our creativity out of our bodies. A brief introduction to acrylic painting that followed was a big help to the beginners and a nice reminder for the more experienced. Now the room was filled with artistic energy! The warmed-up fingers were ready to work! You could feel a rainbow of colours floating in the air! READY, SET, PAINT!
At times, you would hear people chat and giggle, share ideas or exchange experience while they painted. At times, everyone was so engaged and focused that there was complete silence for a little while. It felt a bit awkward at first but then we enjoyed the quietness and calmness within the group. It felt really good to have a group of people painting together with you in a relaxed and non-judgmental environment. Everyone just came to have fun, to relax, to express, to explore, to connect, to create and to enjoy!
Some feedback from participants:
– “I am so proud of myself. As a total beginner, I did not know I could actually paint!”
– “I never thought I could finish a nice painting within 2 hours!”
– “After the first class, I went to an art store to buy some canvas and paintbrushes. I am ready to paint more! I will carry on to paint.”
– “I can’t wait to see and attend more workshops of this kind in our neighbourhood in the future!”
Many thanks to Vancouver Foundation, the Hastings Community Centre, the volunteers and the participants who all played a critical role to make this project a big success! THANK YOU!!!! 

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