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Star Wars paint pARTy is a force to be reckoned with (5 photos)

Local artist Rae Wright's themed paint parties tap into pop culture

A week following the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, fans of the franchise came out to paint their own fan art at The Round Table on Wednesday.

A dozen people ranging from couples to father/daughter duos were provided with paint, brushes and a canvas at a paint party organized by Rae Wright, a self-taught artist who moved to Guelph in 2016.

For the Star Wars theme, Wright drew up a depiction of Kylo Ren’s character standing in a forest with the Death Star looming in the background. She knows the two figures don’t cross in the universe, as it’s more an homage to the franchise itself.

Guiding the artists with step-by-step instructions, leaving plenty of room for questions, the event runs close to three hours.

Despite everyone using the same colours, each painter’s work is slightly different from others. Some make their night skies darker; some add more trees; a few Death Stars look bigger than others.

“One of my favourite things about these events is that even though we are doing the same painting, you’ll never find two that are exactly alike,” Wright says after the show. “Personalities come out, everyone has a different technique.”

Renee Geske came with her husband Rob after a friend recommended going to one of Wright’s events. Geske, 42, is left-handed and was the only attendee to paint hers with the Death Star on the left side of the canvas.

“If my husband and I ended up hanging them beside each other, I’d want them to be mirror images.”

Brad Cook brought his 8-year-old daughter Lyla, saying the two bond over both the Star Wars franchise and arts and crafts.

“We saw the movie on opening day,” Cook said. “I pulled Lyla out of school.”

The origin of Wright’s paint parties, or ‘paint pARTies’ as she writes stylistically on her website, happened by accident.

Her company Rae Wright Artistry was originally a photography business, but after drawing her pictures, she received requests from customers and friends.

One day she was asked if she’d like to teach painting. Having graduated with an Early Childhood Education diploma from Fleming College, she said her skills in instruction and patience translated smoothly to teaching art.

“I did one event and I was hooked,” Wright said. “I knew this was what I wanted to do.”

Thomas Gofton, owner of The Round Table, first met Wright when she taught his daughter Gwenivere in preschool. His daughter and Wright got along very well and the family and Wright began exchanging emails.

Gofton asked Wright to do one of her paint pARTies for his daughter’s birthday party. Afterwards, he offered his business as a venue for her events.

“If paint hits the side of the table, I’m not going to make her pay for it,” Gofton said. “I don't’ care. I’d rather have the paint hit the side of the table so we can tell people about the cool paint parties we had here.

“It tells a story.”

After a group photo at Wednesday’s Star Wars session, Wright was left cleaning up, telling those who offered to help to go home and show off their painting to friends and loved ones. She thought the event was one of the most successful yet.

“(Wednesday’s group) consisted of some who had and some who had never painted before,” Wright said. “I know there was some anxiety and nervousness, but in the end everyone did amazingly well with their creations.”

The next ‘paint pARTy’ will take place Jan. 31 with a Batman theme. You can visit here for more information.