I was sick all morning the other day, having a headache and throwing up every once and a while.

I curled up in bed, falling in and out of sleep and being miserable. I felt much better when I opened my eyes around noon and felt hungry. Hunger is always a good indication of my health. When I am not hungry, I am somewhat sick.

Since I had been working from deadline to deadline these past few weeks, and my day started out so late already, I decided to have a break. I browsed around to see some relaxing activities to take while recovering from my headache and found one. At 5 pm, the co-working space Outpost in Ubud, Bali, was having a Paint & Sip activity, hosted by Bartega Studio.

It was said to be a social painting kind of event: where you’ll meet people, learn how to paint, and sip wines. I decided to sign up when I saw an available option for people who do not wish to drink wine. With my headache, I didn’t want to take risks!

What is this social painting session actually?

Bartega Studio (their base is in Jakarta) hosts a social painting event because they think it’s something fun to do: you meet people, you talk to each other while you paint, and in some instances, sip wine together.

I, myself, have always found it relaxing and therapeutic to draw, doodle, or play with paint and watercolors. The idea is not to create a masterpiece, but simply to play around, get my hands dirty, and experiment. Sometimes it’s interesting to just let yourself loose, and see what kind of shapes and colors would appear on your blank canvas afterward.

I also notice that when a group of people creates something with their hands, a certain conversation will flow. A spontaneous conversation without any purpose or agenda, without feeling like there’s a certain emptiness to fill. Everyone is busy making something anyway! So, each passing conversation feels very relaxed, random, and… social.

With some music on and some wines sparkling on the table, we started our session that day: to paint a scene from Ubud’s Monkey Forest.

Benson from Bartega Studio guided us on how to create this painting step-by-step. Some ladies also decided to improvise that day, and it was totally okay. Art is a medium of self-expression, isn’t it?

One lady replaced the temple in the scene with a painting of herself.

“Because your body is your temple!” I smiled.

“Indeed! Oh wow, you got it!” she laughed.

We were painting with acrylics that day, but I was treating the acrylic paint the way I treated my watercolor. The result was a very pale and pastel-y end result (that was my painting on the left in the picture below). However, it was a fun experience, and now I learned one or two things about working with acrylics!

Book your private session

Bartega Studio can also help you set up a private social painting session paired with excellent wine selections. Either it’s a birthday party, an office getaway, or simply a gathering where you want to have fun with acrylics, they can organize a session for you.

Going solo? No worries. Check their schedule for another session here.

There are times when a painting is not a solitary act. This is one of them!


If you made it this, far, please say 'hi'. It really means a lot to me! :)

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Screenshot 2022-12-08 at 12.43.17
This year, I learned to accept the days when I don't feel motivated, tired, or a bit grumpy. I learned to allow myself to sit with this feeling instead of feeling guilty about it and forcing myself to be productive, socialize, or just get things done.
Photo by Georgia de Lotz on Unsplash
In the end, self-care is not always about doing the things that make us feel good or give us instant gratification. It's also about doing the RIGHT thing: something that is good for us in the long run—even if it may feel hard at times.
Hanny illustrator
I am an Indonesian writer/artist/illustrator and stationery web shop owner (Cafe Analog) based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. I love facilitating writing/creative workshops and retreats, especially when they are tied to self-exploration and self-expression. In Indonesian, 'beradadisini' means being here. So, here I am, documenting life—one word at a time.