Seattle’s Human Canvas Paint Party

This is the story of how my high school prom dress turned into a paint canvas.

The utterly dashing Clive Owen was, of course, not my prom date (bummer!). I photoshopped him over my real date, out of respect and privacy. And, well, because Clive Owen is effing sexy.

Once upon a time, there was a girl named Traveling Thy. Her soul was dying a slow painful death — a slow painful death brought on by the boredom of her new small-town life; a quiet cubicle existence; and the unfriendly, anti-social nature of “Seattle Freezers.”

She was desperate — desperate for newness, the company of fun, quality, interesting peoples.

She joined Meetups. She went to Couchsurfing get-togethers. She attended professional networking events. She joined a ukulele group. She went to food and wine festivals. She went on blind dates. She started taking art classes.

And she went to Matt Jones’ Human Canvas Paint Dancing Party.

Like all things she finds unique and interesting, this made her go, “WOOOOOOOOO!”

The concept was simple:

  • Wear white
  • Paint all over each other
  • Drink, dance and be respectful
  • Have FUN

And the rules were basic:

  • Always ask for permission to paint on someone
  • Do not splash or splatter paint
  • Keep your shoes on at all times
  • And again, HAVE FUN

But what ever was she going to wear? A white t-shirt would probably suffice, she thought. Perhaps a white button-up?

And then it hit her: Traveling Thy had worn a white dress to her senior prom 16 years ago! Was it still sitting somewhere collecting dust at her parents’ house? And if it was, could she even fit into it after all these years?

Lo and behold, the answer to both questions was YES. Imagine her surprise!

She braved the rainy one-hour drive to Seattle, swooped up her buddy Jordan, and headed to Gasworks Gallery.

With a bottle of red in tow, they paid the entrance fee ($20 for the gents, $10 for the ladies) and were instantly greeted by happy, smiling faces. Yay! The man of the night himself — their host and local abstract artist, Matt Jones — was even there to welcome every guest to his studio.

Oh what fun! There was wine, bubbles and beer to last the night, and snacks of chips, chocolates and crackers. Dance music blasted from the speakers as colorful lights filled the dance floor.

And of course, there was paint.

Traveling Thy wasn’t even five steps into the studio before her blank canvas of a dress started getting adorned with artwork of all sorts!

Everyone had so much fun painting all over each other!

They danced the night away…

They celebrated this lovely girl’s birthday…

They even got photobombed!

Twas a splendid night indeed for Traveling Thy and her new human canvas paint dancing friends! She SO enjoyed herself, and can’t imagine having done anything better with her old prom dress than this.

She would like to thank Jordan, who is brand new to Seattle, for being awesome and open-minded and adventurous enough to join these shenanigans. And thanks also for the photos and for letting her crash his awesome new couch.

And of course, thank you to Matt Jones for throwing such a magnificent party!

Matt Jones, Paint Party Extraordinaire

Be sure to check out his website, Gasworks Gallery, and find out when the next big party is by visiting his Facebook page or Meetup page.

Oh. And they all lived happily ever after.

Well, that is, until Traveling Thy went home and returned to dying her slow painful death. Kidding! Sort of. Not really. Ug. More on that later.



  1. Anonymous

    Oh what fun it is to paint your white prom dress tonight…
    Nice post – good writing and fun pictures!

  2. Aloha Thy! Thank you for sharing your fabulous Human Canvas story! You are a delightful bundle of smiling energy and look ultra cool in your new painted prom dress! I hope you will join us again soon! :)

  3. Wow..surprised you were at the Seattle’s paint party. I was there during the New Year’s eve but missed on March 12th. Would have been great to see you, I was following your blog for sometime now. You are amazing at it. Keep it up!

    • Thanks Hareesh! We narrowly missed each other – I had actually considered coming to Matt’s NYE party, but ended up somewhere else. Perhaps our paths will cross at a future human canvas party!

  4. And when they do, I know what to paint on you. A Clive’s face :/

Leave a Comment