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Girlfriends, wine and, er, paintbrushes! The Muddy team tries out the new craze for Brush Parties with *cough* impressive results

I know you’ll find this hard to believe but sometimes I get just a leetle bit bored of my nights out consisting of sitting in the pub, vino in hand. Yes, really!  So recently I rounded up the Muddy crew for a girls’ night out with a difference – we were in a pub, we had wine… but also we had paintbrushes! And you can only imagine the paint-flicking silliness that ensued (think drunk Jackson Pollock).

We tried out a Brush Party at the James Figg pub in Thame, run by Sam Hickton and Cliff Ashton Eaton. Sam attended one in the US while visiting her sister a few years back and decided to bring the idea back to these shores. Each attendee gets a canvas, easel, palette, overalls, paints and brushes, and the instructors talk you through recreating a painting – ours was a tropical island by moonlight. Here’s the one we had to copy.

Rubbish at arty stuff? I hear you – me too, I’m absolutely hopeless, so bad that my Art teacher still didn’t know my name after 4 years!  BUT I was amazed by my finished pic.

It started with a blank canvas and four paints, and then went from this

Early stages left with added eyes because I felt my picture was channelling Elvis (check out the mutton chops!); and right, starting to blend texture and flick some stars around


And voila, the end result. Three canvases painted by the Muddy team including mine which is whichever one you think is the best. Not bad, eh? And I was four gin and tonics down by the time I painted those palm trees (they call me Pissed-casso).

Whatever your level of art skills, you’ll come home with something vaguely resembling a piece of art. The Muddy team all reported that their children were ridiculously impressed on checking out the canvases over breakfast the next day – my son now has mine in his bedroom!  I don’t think we’ll have the Tate Modern on the phone any time soon but it does seem there’s an artist in us all. Who knew?

The session we attended was completely full and the mainly female attendees were very enthusiastic, with one lady telling us she’d attended five parties so far (I’d say get out more, but to be fair to her, she was already out). As for the damage, it’s cheaper than going out for dinner at £29 per person for a three hour session. With my gnat-like attention span, I did start fidgeting slightly an hour into proceedings, but I imagine you have better concentration skills!

There are parties across Bucks, Oxon and sometimes beyond – check the website for dates and venues. The next ones are at Aylesbury RFC this Friday, 31 March and The George Hotel, Wallingford on Weds 5 March. Turns out there’s more than one way to paint the town red – give it a go and let me know what you think.

Brush Party

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