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Local woman wants to teach the world how to paint

ALK Artwork is hosting a paint night at the Bridge 12 Pub in Port Robinson on May 17; 'My joke is that I teach six-year-olds, so I think you’ll be fine'

Move over Bob Ross, because there is a new paint teacher in town. ALK Artwork is hosting a paint tutorial night at the Bridge 12 Pub in Port Robinson on May 17.

“I am one of the only paint night companies that allows children,” says ALK Artwork’s owner Ash Kandas, in an interview with ThoroldToday. “I pick a very specific painting and you all come out to the event and I teach you step by step how to complete that painting.”

Even people with two left hands are encouraged to participate.

“My joke to that is that I teach six-year-olds so I think you’ll be fine,” says Kandas. “If you knew how to paint you would not be in my class. That’s how I see it. So if you want to learn how to draw a bee: it’s three circles, two lines and a little triangle. I teach it so simply that your painting will look like how it’s supposed to. I don’t over-complicate.”

ALK Artwork was founded by Kandas back in January 2020.

“I’ve been painting for a very, very long time so it was just something to make money,” Kandas says. “I officially trademarked my name and that was it. I decided that this is what I wanted to do.”

Painting comes very naturally to Kandas because she grew up in a family of artists. 

“[They] are all portrait artists so it’s just something to connect with my family more than anything,” she says. “It’s something that we all have loved and we teach each other all our own little skills. My father’s charcoal sketching, I’m painting, so we’re all different in our skills.”

Painting is a meditative experience for Kandas.

“Once a month I put on headphones and I listen to music and I paint for eight hours,” she says. “That day is so glorious. I have no stress, no emails, I just do me. I have my hot chocolate and I just paint. Those days are what I look forward to every month.”

When she’s not busy painting, Kandas works as a server at Swiss Chalet, but she eventually hopes to make ALK Artwork her full-time job.

“I would much rather be painting than serving, that’s for sure,” she says. “I work hard every day but it gets me what I want. I’m hoping that by the end of this year I’ll be working for myself again.”

Kandas, who lives in Niagara Falls, puts on paint nights all over Southern Ontario, from Fort Erie to Oakville.

“I normally have about nine locations,” Kandas says. “I’m trying to figure them all out right now, because I lost a couple and I gained a couple. I’m sort of trying to feel it out because every location is so different. They can be dive bars or family bars or very classy places.”

Kandas says that teaching others has been a really rewarding experience.

“Just to see how all the paintings are different even though I teach everyone the same brings me a lot of happiness,” she says. “It’s just a joy to see kids, to see their faces at the end like: ‘I made that.’ That’s amazing.”

The paint night at the Bridge 12 Pub in Port Robinson will take place on Tuesday, May 17 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tickets can purchased here. Adults pay $25 and children pay $15. All materials will be provided by ALK Artwork.

About the Author: Bernard Lansbergen

Bernard was born and raised in Belgium but moved to Canada in 2012 and has lived in Niagara since 2020. Bernard loves telling people’s stories and wants to get to know those that make Thorold into the great place it is
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