South Cariboo artist Sherri Gagnon usually offers paint sessions but since those events have been cancelled due to COVID-19, she’s been sharing free painting tutorials for kids.
“It’s though keeping them busy and creative. So we decided that we would do kid art and do it as a live tutorial,” she says referring to her sister Tammy Kieler, who started Empty Canvas Party, the company Gagnon works for. Gagnon had been intending to do some herself as well but has been running into technical difficulties.
Usually, she does painting events for a mixture of different people including adults.
“The women like to get out of the house: not saying that men don’t come. I usually have a couple of men at each of my shows.”
For the events, she generally goes from Ashcroft to Prince George, she says, adding that when she’s working she might do a couple of those a week.
“At the height of the season… I can do anywhere between eight and 20 a month in different places. I do fundraisers, we do kids birthday parties and things like that. Basically, if you have enough people, we’ll go anywhere.”
With COVID-19 restrictions those have been stopped.
“Nobody can get out to my events,” she says noting that it’s not allowed to have too many people get together but wanted to keep them interested.
The response has been good based on how many people have asked to join the page so they can do it, Gagnon says.
“If we can’t be out there painting with you, let’s do it virtually and just be in it together.”
Some have even incorporated it into an art or craft project for school, she says. The paintings for the tutorials are in acrylic.
“It’s really forgiving. It’s easy to clean up if the kids make a mess. It’s better than watercolour,” she says. “We’re all in this together and hopefully I’ll be able to connect with my regulars, we call them painting addicts, very soon.”
The tutorials are being offered on the Empty Canvas Party Facebook group. Gagnon came on board in 2018, so it’s almost been two years she says.