For a few years now, I have seen on Facebook and various other social media platforms photos of friends, coworkers and acquaintances standing in a large group holding their newly finished canvases and smiling cheesy for the camera. Paint and sip locations have popped up all around my suburban home so much so that on any given night you have maybe 10 or so options of what you would like to paint nearby. So naturally, I would eventually end up attending one of these BYOB paint sessions. That ”eventually” happened to be last Saturday.
My sister is a mechanic by trade. She is also a new homeowner. Whenever she sees a home decor item with a truck (her car of choice), she purchases it without hesitation. So when my sister came across an online listing for a paint nite session featuring a truck filled with pumpkins, she immediately signed us up. I liked the photo of the sample painting she showed me and since it has been a while since I had the opportunity to paint for fun (i.e. not the walls of my house), I agreed to go.
The studio we entered was very clean, organized, and colorful. The walls were lined with canvases from past, present, and future classes. I was instantly drawn into looking at all of the different paintings on the wall and for the first time I was truly excited about the session.
Our instructor introduced herself as a ceramics teacher by day. She was very kind, good at explaining and approachable for when we had questions or special requests. She encouraged us to ”go rogue” and personalize the guide image whether it be adding more pumpkins or changing the color of the car. It was kind of incredible at the end to see how different all of the pictures came out all based on this one sample painting.
I was really impressed with how accessible the teacher was able to make painting when she broke it down into individual steps. For me, the paint session was a little difficult because I am a perfectionist and maybe took the painting part much more seriously than the ”sip” and social aspect. I really just felt like I didn’t have enough time to complete my painting and when it came to the 10 seconds I had left at the end to write Hello Fall across my canvas, I felt truly rushed and a pressure to complete the project in the time given despite how is would sacrifice the quality of my lettering.
Overall, I liked the class and would definitely consider attending another. If I could change anything, I would hope that a future class would provide more room for each person. Our close easels sometimes hit one another’s paintings by accident and the lady next to me was not too happy about paint splashing off my canvas into her wine cup. I would also opt for a class that didn’t have lettering on the canvas. Not having the best handwriting and feeling rushed to complete the painting by the end of class for our group photo, it was the most stressful part of the relaxing class for me.
I did like that the studio offered drop in sessions to come and use their paints to finish your project at a later date, but I wonder how many attendees really go back. My sister, who had a much better balance of sipping and painting going into it, seemed to leave with 7 new friends. Two of the other ladies attending brought cheeses and crackers to share with the group and one woman came alone. Everyone clicked super easily and it was like we naturally had group conversations with the entire class, as opposed to individual ones. Out of the 7 of us, there was only one male. He had surprised his girlfriend with this date night for their anniversary. It really made the experience that much greater that everyone in the class was so kind.
Have you attended a paint nite? If so, I would love to see a photo of your project below and to hear about your experience!