Here’s a story for you!
Way back in late 2018 I had an idea. I’d been offering face-to-face Paint Alongs since 2011, and online art classes since 2015, but I knew that painting REGULARLY was where the joy of art really lay.
The idea was an ONLINE Art Club that would offer a high quality guided Paint Along every month, so people could make art regularly, and accidentally learn to paint – by actually painting paintings!
I’d written a book, “Painting Party”, but I knew I could teach better with video.
And I didn’t want just ordinary paintings. I wanted REALLY NICE paintings that would leave you with a real sense of achievement when you were done.
That’s what I’d been doing in my studio classes, so the online classes had to be just as good, if not better, than what I could offer in person.
After a lot of planning and excitement we went live in January 2019 as the ‘Paint Along of the Month Club’ and I had 3 months worth of content ‘in the can’.
The first painting was ‘Flora the Chook’. I hoped the combination of flowers and chickens would grab people’s attention… and it did!
Many of my lovely local painters signed up as Foundation Members (thank you guys!). They had faith that I’d continue to deliver colourful and high quality Paint Alongs, to keep them painting regularly and enjoying the challenge of learning new things.
Just as I did in my studio classes, I deliberately designed paintings that used a variety of techniques and colour palettes.
We painted llamas and possums and birds and cows… so many wonderful things… but flowers were (and still are) our most popular subject!
As we grew I changed the name to the “Shiny Happy Art Club”, we changed learning platforms (Linda was the energy and blood, sweat and tears behind that great leap!) and we kept painting… water lilies, bees, koalas, caravans… colourful and fabulous stuff!
When Covid hit, I opened our Shiny Happy Art heart to the world and offered free, Saturday night ‘Drink and Draw’ sessions on Facebook. One American woman told me it was the only time of the week she would stop crying. Friends sketched together across the globe. Whole families joined in (how good is that???) Honestly, it was the least I could do to help.
After our lockdown Drink and Draws I started doing regular demonstrations live on Facebook. I enjoyed the challenge of a new topic and art supply each month and the videos proved VERY popular (#5minutemay and #shacards anyone?).
Now I include each month’s Demo Collection in the Membership. It shows that 15 minutes, 3 times a week, can build your art fitness. And a Collection of your own art is A BUZZ!
In a fit of generosity, about a year ago we also added a watercolour version of the month’s Paint Along to the Club. I’m on a quest for equality when it comes to art supplies (if it floats your boat, use it and get to know what it can and can’t do!).
Now, 3.5 years in, we’re coming up to Online Paint Along #42.
The point here is, that if I hadn’t started in January 2019, there wouldn’t be 42 Paintings now!
And if YOU keep waiting for the perfect time to try painting (it’s already JUNE) it may never come.
But if you GIFT YOURSELF at least 6 months of regular inspiration and classes – you can do them monthly or get stuck into a bunch of your favourites on your next holiday – by this Christmas you’ll have your own Collection of truly lovely paintings!
You only need one set of paints and brushes to start, and 2-3 hours to watch the videos and do your first painting (there are 24 in your Online Library when you join, so choose a favourite and start!).
It’s as simple as that.
You will be connecting to that wonderful creativity inside you and learning a skill that brings you joy and a true sense of achievement.
It’s only $25 AUD (~ $18 USD) a month and if you don’t love it, you can cancel any time.
The Club includes hundreds of lovely people from around the world (we chatted to Amsterdam, Alabama, Ireland, New Zealand, the UK, Portugal AND Australia in our last webinar) and it can help you discover the artist inside you – the Shiny Happy way.
(If it’s not for you, perhaps you can tag a friend?)