(left) and Melissa McGraw partake in a bottle of red during a
painting class at Arté.
Grab a friend, a
glass of wine, a stool and … a paintbrush? The latest entertainment
trend is a night at painting studios that offer cocktails, creativity
The process is
simple: Review the online calendar of featured paintings and sign up
for your desired date. All materials (paints, brushes, canvas, easels
and aprons) are provided — and drinking is encouraged. Classes last
two-to-three hours, and the final product is all yours.
My mom and I
registered for a rendition of Van Gogh’s "Starry Night" at
Arté in Wauwatosa. We ordered a bottle of red wine, and our
instructor, Sandy, joked that we’d paint better as we drank. We
laughed, sipped and sat down.
Of the eight
women in our class, only two had painted before.
We were not
My mom was
especially nervous, very focused on trying to get everything right,
following Sandy’s steps as closely as possible. I was less of a
perfectionist but not entirely pleased with my results.
bartender Trudy created a party atmosphere with an upbeat mix of rock
and pop music, and she and Sandy provided details about Van Gogh and
his artwork, along with their positive reinforcement.
relaxed. She says, "As I progressed and saw that I could do it, I
became more confident. I discovered the artist within myself."
The three hours
flew by, and we each eventually had a unique interpretation of
I may not be the
next Van Gogh, but the vino sure made the creative journey of this
less-than-stellar artist a night to remember.