From perogies to paint

Food truck owner offers art classes in the off-season

Paulina Tokarski, who owns Hungry Rooster, is branching out from perogies to paint. While she manages the food truck in the summers, in the cooler months her passions shift from cooking to creating.

“I’ve been painting ever since I can remember,” she said. “I’m very excited to share my love for art.”

When the self-taught artist moved to the valley two years ago, she decided to offer classes from her home studio, Branchout_Creative.

“It’s been pretty fun and popular,” she said. “I really enjoy seeing others explore, learn and play in my art classes.”

Ms. Tokarski teaches acrylic painting, mixed media and more. Her most in-demand class allows budding artists to experiment with ink that reacts to alcohol.

“It’s a really neat medium. It’s special ink that when 99 per cent alcohol touches it, it moves and shifts and sort of explodes on special paper. It’s very transparent and the colours are super vibrant. I always tell everyone it’s a bit of an adventure that you go on. You never know what you might get. You start out wanting trees and it turns out to be a well. So I always tell all my students to have an open mind and just really enjoy the process rather than what comes out of it because normally what comes out of it is something different and they still love it,” she said.

Ms. Tokarski finds much of her inspiration in nature so her art generally features landscapes, trees, forests and flowers. But in her ink and alcohol classes, her students can paint whatever they choose.

“With ink and alcohol it’s really fun because we do everything, any subject, whatever people want to paint. I help them through the process and it works out really great because everyone has their own love for certain things,” she said.

She anticipates teaching classes all through the winter but will be back to the food truck business in the summer. During peak perogie season, she said she’s “usually very dormant and quiet when it comes to art.”

But her painting comes out of hibernation in the winter, her artiest time.

She welcomes any students to try her classes “to learn something new and exciting in an intimate space … It’s going to be very personal. I will put a lot of love and attention into each person,” she said.

Ms. Tokarski’s classes are $45 per session. Independent artists are welcome to join her during her open studio time for $15 an hour. She is also taking private bookings for small groups. To find out more or to reserve a spot in a class, visit Branchout_Creative on Facebook.

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