What to Do When You Don’t Know What to Do: Paint Night


(Photo by: Justin Prather | The Utah Chronicle).

By Madge Slack

Yeah, school has started up again. If you’re anything like me, homework is the last thing you want to be doing, so let’s make the most of our remaining summer nights and take an already-needed study break. As the new school year begins, we find ourselves meeting new friends and perhaps even noticing a cute certain someone in that one class you can’t seem to pay attention to.  

Now is the perfect time to ask those people out. We are a long way away from finals and none but the exceedingly unlucky will have any important essays or major projects due for at least another week. So go for it!

Once you have secured the ideal date, you will need the ideal activity to match. My advice: Paint night. Paint nights are fun, easy and something everyone can enjoy. There are numerous paint night companies throughout Salt Lake City, and quite a few even serve wine for those over 21. (Don’t worry if you don’t drink — they have sodas and water too.) This means you can have a unique date and a drink to ease the nerves without looking like an alcoholic. If all else fails, you still get a present for your mom out of it or something to hang above your couch. Most of the canvases provided by paint night studios are light enough to hang on a push pin, so they are dorm friendly.

You also get to decide what you paint. If you go online and look at the different painting places, you’ll find a selection of images that change depending on where you go. If you decide to wing it, these locations are pretty cool with you painting whatever you like anyway.

Speaking of what you like, you won’t have to worry about ruining your clothes — they’ll give you aprons. You learn a lot about a person from how messy they are willing to get with paint. Additionally, you can learn a lot from how well they accept a new challenge and how they handle failure. When I took my boyfriend, a professional artist, to a paint night, his painting looked nothing like the teacher’s. This is probably because he got bored with the pace, but the point stands.

You can have a memorable date with a souvenir built in. Really, the only downside to paint nights is the price. I’m not going to lie — most places cost about $40 per person. For poor college kids who are generally shouldering hefty loans, that can be an intimidating price tag. Instead, you can hold a paint night at home. All you need is a canvas, a paper plate, a brush and five basic colors. Then you can use your millennial wit to Google an image or find a paint night YouTube video — I’m sure they exist.

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