Artist offers virtual paint parties

Oregon coast artist Skye Pratt (pictured left) offers people an opportunity to take part in virtual paint parties through her YouTube series titled “Paint Along with Skye,” running on Saturdays with videos in real time and available for anyone to use to paint from home or anywhere else. Skye Pratt donated a variety of art supplies (pictured above) to a senior living facility so the residents could join in her virtual paint parties, “Paint Along with Skye.”

Oregon coast artist Skye Pratt said she wants to offer on YouTube the “Paint and Sip” style of painting combined with the teaching style of the late Bob Ross of “The Joy of Painting” TV fame.

To that end, she has created a YouTube series titled “Paint Along with Skye,” running on Saturdays with videos in real time and available for anyone to use to paint from home or anywhere else. Each segment is 20 to 30 minutes in length, and the videos can be paused so viewers can catch up if they need to, or review a portion of the training. Where Ross used oils in his TV series, Pratt uses acrylics in her YouTube sessions.

Pratt said her series, which she started in 2019 as a way for people to complete her paintings at home, is appropriate for adults, but is G-rated and fine for children, as well.

“It’s good to put the series on for kids, who may not have access to art classes at school right now,” she said. “And it’s great for adults. People have found a lot of peace in it, especially in the last few months, and they are finding they actually are quite creative.

“It’s totally family-oriented,” she added. “It’s very much inspired by Bob Ross — I want to be YouTube’s Bob Ross in acrylics.” Ross was an oil painter and the creator and host of “The Joy of Painting” on PBS from 1983 to 1994.

Describing herself as an Oregon coast artist, Pratt is often on the move. After living in the San Francisco area for about 10 years, she decided to travel and lived in Lincoln City for two years while traveling along the coast; now she plans to spend a few months in a Tiny House in Florence. She started Paint Party SLO in 2015 in San Luis Obispo, Calif. — it featured professionally led painting classes offered to a group along, with wine or other beverages, and the opportunity to complete an entire painting in one sitting. She has also instructed classes at senior living facilities and schools.

But as she can’t teach in person now because of COVID-19 social distancing, she decided to focus on her online painting series, and noted that in keeping with her minimalist philosophy, she donated many of her painting materials to Ocean Ridge senior living in Coos Bay.

“They looked at my YouTube channel and will put the videos on for the residents in the rec room,” she said. “I gifted them a kit of 12 brushes of three different sizes, aprons, easels, water cups, and even about 20 paintings that I had extra of from teaching so that they would have model paintings to paint along to, and also just perhaps to decorate the facility. Now they have models to teach from.”

Bonnie Hribar, marketing director for Ocean Ridge, called the donation “awesome” and “so generous.

“The residents are really excited, and started using the art supplies last Friday,” she said. “We have a couple of residents who were artists before coming here, and it’s so nice to have these supplies.”

Pratt said she plans to continue her “Paint Along with Skye” YouTube series “for as long as YouTube is working. The series began about 10 month ago.

“I’m focused on being a teaching artist,” Pratt said. “Most of my painting centers on the learner, at the step-by-step and beginner level.”

If that doesn’t keep her busy enough, Pratt is also an editor and writer for Access Publishing in Paso Robles, Calif. “I split my time between writing and art,” she said. “I really like doing acrylic painting tutorials.” Her own work tends toward fantasy subjects and the vibrant use of color, and she said her most popular painting is a silhouette of a dandelion against a rainbow background. While she only instructs in acrylics, she paints in watercolors, as well.

“My work is really simplified and illustrative, rather than moving toward realism,” she noted.

Of her teaching philosophy, she explained on her website, “I think art should be for everybody, and there is no wrong way to do it. That being said, you’ll still learn a lot about color mixing and different traditional and personally-developed techniques in my classes, but the point is to relax, get creative and have fun, whether it’s at one of my classes or painting along at home.”

More information about Pratt’s classes is available at skyepratt.com or her Facebook group, The Art Club, at www.facebook.com/groups/paintalongwithskyeartclub.

Her YouTube channel is at tinyurl.com/y9nlpj25, or just type in Paint Along with Skye on YouTube.

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