Wed | May 27, 2020

An enlightening ‘Puff and Paint’ experience

Published:Friday | November 1, 2019 | 12:00 AMKimberley Small/Gleaner Writer
Patrons of Epican's Puff and Paint session stay focused on the task at hand.
Dacx Photography's Darrick Foster trades in the tools of his trade for paint and paintbrushes to create a different kind of imagery.
Designer Drezel-Diedra Simmonds sends a message in her Puff and Paint creation.
Artist Rozi Chung interacts with guests at Epican's Puff and Paint event.
Owner of Simru Henna Rebecca Rowe puts her henna skills on canvas.
Social media influencer and comedian Fat Skull does not pass up an opportunity to make his Puff and Paint neighbour Renee Moncrieffe laugh out loud.
From left: Artist Rebecca Rowe, videographer Rogen 'Ruption' Walker and designer/CEO of Annaixe, Anna Lisa Guthrie put their talents on display at Epican's Puff and Paint last Monday, October 28.

Art classes are the new mixers, and Epican has joined in on the fun. But its Puff and Paint experience may be unlike any other. Instead of bottles of rosé, Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio, the dispensary offers its students inhales of THC or CBD vape pens or Lamb’s Bread herb (sativa) for this heightened version of ‘sip and paint’.

Set up with easels, brushes, paint and water, patrons were tasked to recreate Adinkra symbols. Upon completion, they were scheduled a break – to take in their vape pens or to roll up a bit of dry herb for some smoke inhalation. While the majority were quiet and focused before, hunkered down intensely at their stations, the mood quickly shifted.

Strangers were now trading lighters, inspecting each other’s vape pens, and divvying up the complimentary snacks and fruit juice.

“The difference I’ve seen over the long period – and I’ve started from last year – is that when people come in, they’re normally a bit tense, especially those who have never experienced art in the way that we’re doing it,” art teacher Rozi Chung told Living.

At the start, she observes her students’ colour choices are usually vibrant – “and they try so much to copy what I’ve given them, which is the Adinkra symbols. However, when they use the marijuana – when they come back to do the artwork, it’s very fluent, very organic. The colours change, and their mood is different. How they connect with everybody is different, and there’s a lot of laughter. There is a lot of positive vibration around the table. So the works produced are very beautiful.”

Professional illustrator Cory Mills was a recent student. By his account, the experience puts minds to the test.

“It shows you what you’re really thinking. It’s very interesting. I would do this again,” he said.

As for the marijuana, he noticed how the sativa affected his artistry.

“I got a sense of ... I can take my time. I wasn’t rushing too much, so I could put in a little more detail. I was focused.”