Local artist and 23-year member of the Cariboo Artists’ Guild, Cheryl Gauthier, has started her own paint night in Mile 108 Ranch, along with good friend Deb Osborne. Huncity Paint Night will be held at the Spruce Hill Resort & Spa from 6 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 18.
The Free Press spoke with Gauthier in a phone interview about the motivation behind her new venture. Sadly, she said it started with a tragedy.
Question: What made you want to start a paint night?
A: “My husband passed away in March,” she said.
She and her husband, Paul, moved up to Lac La Hache 23 years ago with their four boys.
“I have taught lessons like watercolours to beginners, children and adults throughout the years and, like I say, I’m still involved in the CAG (Cariboo Artists’ Guild). So my son said, ‘Those paint nights are quite popular, Mom, and you should really do those because you would be good at it and it keeps you busy some nights, you know, without Paul here and such.’”
She said her two sons and her two step-sons encouraged her to start the event and even helped make cards and put it online.
Q: What does running the paint night do for you?
A: “I love teaching anyways, right, teaching of any sort … I’m good around people and, hopefully, they enjoy my company and Deb’s company.”
Gauthier added that the paint night brings her enjoyment and helps to keep her busy.
Q: Is it helping you get through the grief?
A: “Yes it helps me get through everything, to keep busy. I’m a busy person anyways,” she said, “but at night times it’s the hardest.”
She said she hosts evening paint nights with her neighbours at her house, too. “It does help, it’s good therapy.”
Q: What’s the response been like so far?
A: “Pretty good response. This is only the second one that we’re doing, so we hope to do one at Spruce Hill every month. I think that people would be impressed with what they come out with for themselves at the end of the night.”
Q: For someone who has never experienced a paint night, what can they expect?
A: “They will expect to, of course, be able to paint something and learn maybe how to mix a few colours to make other colours.”
Unlike an art class, she said they aren’t there to teach, they’re there to instruct those in attendance through a painting step-by- step.
“There’s no experience necessary … anyone and everyone can paint a beautiful painting, to bring home for themselves and brag to their friends and family that they actually did this.”
Q: What made you choose a palm tree for this painting?
A: “Well, I just love palm trees and it’s going to be something different every time, so I just thought this was kind of a nice one to do. It’s fun and colourful, very colourful. Everybody likes palm trees!”
Tickets for Huncity Paint Night run for $40. Those wishing to attend can save $4 by buying a ticket online through Eventbrite.
You can also reach Gauthier directly by calling 250-396-4742 to get a ticket or arrange a private party.