Sip and Paint, Tipsy Da Vinci’s, Art and Wine; all events that have been held in the city post lockdown, where guests are invited to paint whilst enjoying a glass of wine or bubbly. A popular concept that has caught on in Colombo, we decided to explore it further with renowned artist, Dila Weerasinghe.
Art Spa by Dila is an afternoon art session hosted by Dila every Saturday. The Art lessons and the food and beverages are provided by Dila, and all a participant needs to do is register a day or two in advance and turn up at the venue with the required Art supplies in hand.
Dila Weerasinghe is an artist that has always aimed to create something out of nothing, and she has the ability to see beyond what meets the eye. Being right-brain dominant, Art has been in her system since her childhood. “I use to paint any surface around the house, much to my mother’s dismay! I never took up Art as a subject whilst in school, but when I started working, I worked in a creative environment in the apparel industry (Product Development and Design), and this helped me exercise my creative skills and enabled me to keep it alive,” stated Dila at the start of our conversation.
Q: When did you host your first exhibition? In 2011, I held my first joint exhibition, “Vruksha” with Charmain Mendis and Minha Mausukeen, under the guidance of our mentor Mr. Karunasiri Wijesinghe. This exhibition was a black and white line drawings on paper and on canvas and was held at the Lionel Wendt Art Gallery in Colombo. The second exhibition. which was also my first solo exhibition, “Golden Dawn” was held in 2014. This was acrylic on canvas which was all black canvases with gold paint infused with black line drawings to detail the work.”
Q: Why do you do what you do? It’s my little world of peace and serenity. I can get lost in my world of Art and sometimes not know what time of day it is. I am incredibly blessed to be able to see beyond just the subject. When you can actually detail what one can see, it brings out a different perspective in the subject all together for the eyes of the beholder.
Q: How has your practice changed over time? I think I can say I have evolved with time in my style of Art. I’m always trying to make it better and bring about a difference in everything I create. I have learnt to mix different mediums and styles in my artwork to enable me to present the look and finish that would really do justice to my subject.
Q: What is Art Spa? Art Spa is something I created to be able to pass on what I know to others. It’s also my way of encouraging others to have a hobby that is relaxing, and that inspires them to express themselves via Art. Winding down, relaxing and expressing one’s self with colour can be very therapeutic and self worthy. I conduct a class every Saturday from 2:00pm to 6:00pm. I aim to help anyone interested in developing their own style of creativity; it can be any medium that interests them or I would teach them from scratch, starting with pencils, perspectives and mixing colours. Q: How does one enroll? You can follow my page on Instagram: @art_spa_by_dila or WhatsApp me on: +94777780890.
Q: Can it be a one-off lesson? Yes it can, but I need to be informed beforehand, as I may have to turn someone else down if I have a full class. I take a maximum of eight participants at a time for better skill development and individual attention.
Q: What does an Art Spa class entail? An Art Spa class includes food, drinks, tea or coffee, an air-conditioned environment, company and lots of laughter, skill and techniques. However, all required Art material must be purchased by the participant.
Q: What does an Art Spa event entail? An Art Spa event includes the concept and set-up at an event location of the hosts choice. All required Art material will be supplied by me. However, the food, beverages and the venue should be facilitated by the host of the event. However, I can facilitate all of the above, if required, at a fee. An Art Spa event is a nice fun event to host to celebrate a birthday, family get-together, anniversary, bachelorette party, team-building afternoon, or simply to have a fun-filled evening with friends or family.
Q: Can anyone join? Yes, absolutely. However, the Art Spa classes I would recommend it only for adults. Art Spa events can be hosted for any age group.