'Tis the season to embrace the Groupon. (and for those of you who aren't a part of the Groupon phenomenon, it's a great way to try things you may NOT have tried without the benefit of a really kick ass deal.) So when Lori bought a Groupon for an amazing little joint here in Vancouver called Raw Canvas, I coulda popped with joy. You see, Raw Canvas is a local lounge in which you can sip a glass of vino, chow down on a little charcuterie and make like Frida Kahlo. Yup. With the purchase of a canvas, comes all the paint you need to create your masterpiece, PLUS a very authentic painting smock, an easel and brushes, palettes, blending knives and all manner of other nifty painting paraphernalia. The front of the lounge is dedicated to drinking and eating. The back of the joint is where all the magic happens. They call it "the pit."
I'll admit that for someone like myself who wept through drawing classes when I was in the film program at an art school, painting seemed a tad daunting. However, there was something SO appealing about the thought of smearing glorious colour all over a piece of taught canvas. And with the aid of a glass or two of wine, and the support of good friends... well.... I may have found my calling! (or not)
Susan was the first to join us. (The irony here is that the only REAL artist amongst us is Susan's partner Diyan, who was at home marking the portfolios of her art students!!!) Ha!
And then, along came Shayne and Lori. Shayne and Susan decided that we needed a peanut gallery, so they gallantly agreed to hang on the sidelines cheering us on and offering helpful tips and encouraging words. In the meantime, Mister Man and Lori stepped up to the plate with a modicum of anxiety and a whole heap of excitement. Painting? How hard could it be?
Why here's a glimpse of the peanut gallery now!
Lori bares her soul...
Mister Man demands his space.
And then, before we knew it, our canvasses were full, our aspirations of becoming art stars were nipped in the bud and we were almost ready for dinner!
Mister Man's work of art told the story of Icarus, a man who flew too close to the sun....
I went for abstraction (it seemed less frightening that way).
Lori didn't want me to publish a photo of hers, but I can tell you that I really liked it.... I can also tell you that painting really helps one to work up an appetite! So it's a darn good thing we ended up at Campagnolo on Main St. And as a bonus, Diyan joined us. Okay, I guess now is as good a time as any to confess that, prior to leaving Raw Canvas, we EMAILED photos of our paintings to Diyan while she was still home marking, and begged her to critique our masterpieces. She was very kind... Anyhoo - onwards and upwards to the celebratory meal.
Susan and Diyan had eaten at Campagnolo the night before, so they were our "tour guides" when it came to the menu. In fact, the staff recognized them and greeted them like they were family!! So we set about studying the menu.
The food was extraordinary.