Budding artists have a hoot at painting workshop

A classroom of blank canvasses was transformed into a parliament of owls at Bistro ’67 recently as Whitby artist Sarah Shaw taught a painting workshop to a group of about 40 novice artists.

The award-winning restaurant located at the W. Galen Weston Centre for Food (CFF) at Durham College Whitby Campus has held similar events over the past 12 months, according to Kelly O’Brien, General Manager for the CFF.

“It is very popular.  It hardly took any time for the event to be sold out and we actually had to turn people away,” said O’Brien.

Shaw is a self-taught artist who has her own art studio based out of her home in Whitby.  She said the workshop was open to anyone, regardless of their artistic ability,

“You don’t need to have any experience or talent,” said Shaw.

“A lot is broken down into simple steps, everything is understandable when you break it into shapes.”


Beth Hawkins from Oshawa concentrates on her painting skills at the Paint and Palate evening at Bistro 67.

The subject of the evening’s class was a ‘Winter Owl’, based on the number of birds of prey which live around the area.  Previous subjects have also been connected to the CFF’s Field to Fork philosophy, and what is grown in its garden, like cherry tomatoes, pansies and an orchard.

Lynda Krechowicz was taking the class for the first time. She learned about the event through their website.

“I have been a fan of the bistro ever since it opened.  It’s one of the best places to eat.”

Tickets cost $50 and included a two-hour art workshop which included a three-course dinner at the restaurant afterwards.  Participants could take their masterpieces home afterwards.

“I don’t let anyone leave with a really crummy looking painting,” Shaw assured her class. “I do want you to be happy with your painting. I want you to hang it up.”

The aspiring artists donned blue and yellow striped aprons to protect their clothing for the event. Easels, paint and brushes were all provided by the artist.

Kaitlyn Dover, CFF Service Manager said she expected to host another painting workshop in the spring.  She said the event is a great way to get customers into the restaurant and sample the menu, at the same time as having a fun evening.


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