Painting Parties

March 17, 2016  
Filed under Arts & Entertainment

Unleash Your Creative Side

Burlington Paint & Sip (above) on Church Street is a colorful, bright studio offering step-by-step painting instruction.

Burlington Paint & Sip (above) on Church Street is a colorful, bright studio offering step-by-step painting instruction.

By Karen Sturtevant

“Every artist was
first an amateur.”

­—Ralph Waldo Emerson

A blank canvas is placed before you along with a rainbow collection of paints and a paintbrush. Do you feel inspired or intimidated?

Learning to paint, or rekindling a long neglected passion, is often high up on Boomers’ bucket lists. There is a new breed of art ‘classes’ emerging that seek to take the intimidation out  of the act of putting paint on canvas.

Photo courtesy of Karen Sturtevant The studio stands ready for in-coming painters.

Photo courtesy of Karen Sturtevant
The studio stands ready for in-coming painters.

Burlington Paint & Sip

Strolling past the windows of the diverse shops of downtown Burlington, you might come across what looks like part art studio, part meeting place. For those creative types and wannabe-Monets, this urban space is just the place to unleash your inner artist. Burlington Paint & Sip on Church Street is a colorful, bright studio offering step-by-step painting instruction. According to its Facebook page, they don’t have classes, they have parties.

Colleen Clark, a self-acknowledged science nerd, manages and teaches at the Burlington studio. “There are a lot of physiological, mental, and emotional benefits to being creative, more so than people realize,” she said.

The Paint and Sip studio is one of three owned by Catherine Hoover. The other two are in Saratoga Springs and Latham, New York. Clark and Hoover work well together, making plans and schedules to make art accessible for more people. “It’s really not intimidating. It’s meant to be very approachable. Our artists are very open, friendly people. This is a chance to do something different for two hours.” 

The studio offers instruction for both adults and children over the age of seven. Birthday, private, bachelorette parties, team building and date night painting parties are offered. 

Colleen Clark (left), manager and artist at Burlington Paint & Sip, channeling Bob Ross.

Colleen Clark, manager and artist at Burlington Paint & Sip, channeling Bob Ross.

Each party is between $25 and $50 per person depending on the event.

Pricing includes canvas, unlimited paint, supplies and guidance. Sign-ups are done online or in person. Have you always wanted to paint an iconic snowy Vermont scene?

People are encouraged to bring in their own food or non-alcoholic drinks. The studio offers an assortment of beer and wine, many locally made, for purchase.

The paintings that decorate the walls are original works from the studio’s team of artists — all nine-to-fivers in the work world. “It’s really their fun second job, they’re doing it not because they need to, but because they are passionate about it. I feel they do a really superb job of having their passion come through in making this a fun and accessible way for people to be creative,” Clark said.

Can’t draw a straight line with a ruler? Not to worry. “You’re tapping into your innate self. People are very quick to say, ‘I’m not an artist,’ but it’s such an intricate part of our humanity, there is a desire to create, to express. It’s there and for some people they never get to tap into it for whatever reason. It’s a matter of waking up that part of one’s self,” Clark said.

For more information, visit www.burlingtonpaintandsip.com

Painting with Payton

 The studio (below) stands ready for in-coming painters.


The studio (below) stands ready for in-coming painters.

Do you remember tube televisions, rotary dialed telephones mounted to the kitchen wall and Fred and Wilma Flintstone? This era has been cleverly recreated with a modern twist in a South Burlington space called Painting with Payton.

Artist Payton Pellegrini’s passion has blossomed into a newly opened painting studio complete with a fairy, magic dust and silly props, including a Mona Lisa cut-out face, for impromptu selfies. A refurbished headboard makes a perfect apron hanger and welcomes guests while window shutters make excellent canvas display holders. Private parties, corporate events and girls’ night out groups will appreciate the comfy sitting area off the kitchen and the assortment of retro items. Each piece was sourced from antique shops, lawn and estate sales to make the space inviting and relaxing.

Pellegrini and her husband moved to Vermont 3 1/2 years ago when her younger brother gave her the idea for painting parties. With an imaginative nature and a background in interior design, she began instructing at several venues and volunteering with Art From the Heart. She saw firsthand how creating any form of artistry was therapeutic and stress-relieving.

Painting with Payton offers a home-like studio for group, private, corporate and celebration painting parties. “I’ve had people who didn’t want to leave. They want to sit and hang out. It’s nice to hear. I’ve gotten a lot of really good feedback,” Pellegrini said.

The studio is a no-stress zone, made apparent by the “No Frownie Face” painting. Pellegrini says there is usually one person in each group that, at the beginning of class, is anxious about painting with others. “We hear when we’re young, ‘you’re not an artist,’ we say, ‘Okay, I have that label so I so just don’t do art so I think I’m not capable.’ It’s so wrong,” Pellegrini said. 

She is determined to unlock people’s artsy side. “I want people to have a place to get away from it all and relax and have that creative spark…not only come here for painting parties, but realize they can be creating every day, whether it’s doodling or singing and realize they have a creative side.”

Pellegrini believes everybody is creative. “So many people like to label themselves …but if people took the time to practice a little and tap into their creativity—because everyone has it—they’d be so proud. I realized I can show people just a few different techniques and they can get it.”

For more information, visit www.paintingwithpayton.com.

 

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