De-stressing with Paint at Pastels and Pinot

When I decided to go to a painting-centric event in November, I was a bit nervous. However, the first thing I overheard when I walked into the Gallery on top of the Nest for AMS’s Pastels and Pinot was someone saying “I don’t think I’ve touched paint since Kindergarten.”

I was in the same boat, so hearing that I wasn’t the only one feeling that way was reassuring.

About the event

Pastels and Pinot is a recurring event by AMS Events that has two basic elements: painting and wine. The event is in its third year, and continues to draw big crowds of students looking for a relaxing evening to get them through the stress of midterms, papers, and exams.

The Pastels and Pinot event that I went to was put on in support of the Movember Foundation, and there was also a large communal canvas that anyone could contribute to. AMS Events is probably best known for Block Party and other big party events, so this event is a welcome shift for them. It’s a more casual environment for students to look forward to during the stressful parts of the semester. It’s also on the cheaper end of events, being just $5 per person (for the canvas and art supplies!).

Becoming Bob Ross

Like many students at this time of the year, I have no shortage of work and studying to do. When the day of the event came around, my friend and I were both stressed and overwhelmed with papers and exams. But, we had heard that painting can have a relaxing effect and we were willing to try it out!

Walking into the event, we were greeted by live jazz music and dozens of students already getting started on their masterpieces. This event is a bit of a free-for-all, with no rules about what you can or can’t paint, so the pieces ranged from landscapes to something more abstract, from animals and emojis to… more landscapes… and everything in between! I settled on painting a simple tree, something I anticipated to be within my abilities.

The best part of the event was how lively and happy everyone around us seemed to be. The live music and flowing wine kept spirits up, and it was the most stress-free I’ve seen a large group of students in a while. There was no sense of judgement about other people’s painting abilities, and I hardly ever heard the conversation turn to exams or classes.

With exams just around the corner, this event was a welcome break from studying and a great way to unwind with friends. Painting is not really something you can do without putting some thought into, so it forces you to focus on something different for a stretch of time.

I went to the event having a general idea of what to expect, but a bit apprehensive due to my inexperience with paint. However, after my initial indecisiveness over what to paint, I ended up really enjoying the experience and am quite pleased with my final product.

Not proud enough to include a picture of it here, of course, but pretty pleased.

Here are some more photos of the event, including pictures of other people’s creations:

Pastels and Pinot will be returning on January 15th as a part of Frost Fest! Stay tuned for more information on that event and more AMS events on Facebook and follow @UBCevents to stay up-to-date with all campus events.