An evening in Cobble Hill spent sipping wine and painting, what could be classier? When Painting with a Twist invited me to check out one of their classes in Brooklyn, I had no hesitation. Not one moment of “Uhhh…I don’t really know how to paint, what if my painting sucks?” I’m a self-described “hopelessly creative” person, I have a little experience with painting, and honestly I’d been dying to give this new trend a try: the casual painting class combined with casual drinking. Arrive with no painting experience, leave with a ready-to-hang painting and a buzz! Brilliant!
My roommate Rose and I arrived at their cozy studio on Smith Street. The red and yellow walls of the main room create such a feeling of warmth and fall, the place couldn’t be more welcoming coming off the chilly dark street. White, blank canvases were set up in rows. Blank canvases and new-born babies have a lot in common, you know. So much possibility, beauty, and excitement! The top of their heads both smell good!
We immediately felt ready to get our paint on! More so than our drink on- neither of us had eaten dinner. Fortunately snacks were provided for this media event, but that’s not the norm! Eat before you paint, especially if you are a light weight like me! ESPECIALLY if you’re a light-weight like me who can’t say no when someone offers you a drink! Even with snacks, I was feeling it before I’d even finish one glass! Before I’d even painted more than one color! Oh, you think I’m exaggerating? There’s photographic evidence!
Haha, I wish that was me. Nope, that’s Rose. Looking calm and collected, not the least bit inebriated, pondering the beginning of this artistic journey.
This. This is me. Upon finishing my background and ONE glass of wine. I’m already tipsy enough to make that face. It’s only just begun!
Our painting guru Jesse was awesome. He guided us through the entire process, reassured us in moments of doubt, and deftly handle awkward questions (How often do people cry during these classes?) from one of his students who got drunk much faster than she intended. Oh uh, surprise, I’m referring to myself! (Sorry Jesse!)
Here’s the thing: these classes are definitely geared for people who haven’t touched paint since they were kids. People who completely doubt their ability to create art, who have anxiety that they are going to try this new thing and have it come out awful.
Painting with a Twist reaches out to these people so they can feel comfortable, know they are in good hands, and proves that they CAN make art! The instruction is step by step, incredibly thorough, and you can follow each of the well planned steps. Do all that and your painting will look just like the instructor’s demo! It’s great!
But if you took a couple art classes in college (“Drawing: Life Stories” was my very first college course), painted a giant painting as a set piece for your senior thesis (I’m not saying it’s good but it still hangs in my room), and have a whole box under your bed dedicated to art supplies….well….this is not be the best class for you.
Especially if you get kinda drunk off two glasses of wine (Rose offered me another and I couldn’t say no!).
See, if you get drunk, stop following the instructor’s directions, refuse his help when he offers it, and get over-involved in blending colors….then your painting definitely won’t look like it’s supposed to. But hey, I didn’t break any rules!!
To be honest, I got frustrated by the regimented, explicit instruction. I felt stifled by the lack of room for creative interpretation. That’s truth talk. But here’s the more important truth talk: in spite off that I still had a great time. I had FUN!!! complete with the 3 exclamations of that final rule on their list. The people who run Painting with a Twist are wonderful and that’s really reflected in the whole vibe of the place.
If you’ve never taken a painting class before but always thought it would be fun, Painting with a Twist is a PERFECT, SUPER FUN way to give it a try!
Painting with a Twist has an October full of $45 two hour classes open to the public. Each class focuses on a different painting and there are a lot of different, beautiful ones to choose from! View the Brooklyn calendar here. This location only opened in September, so get in there before all of NYC catches on! Gentlemen…this is the kind of unique, fun activity that would really impress a date. Ladies, could be a perfect girls’ night. They also host private parties- think birthdays, bachelorettes, even corporate retreats- and even have “Painting with a Purpose” nights where all proceeds get donated to local charities. If you don’t live in NYC, the company has 240 locations throughout the US, so check their website and see if there’s one near you.
Remember: don’t get drunk. And never say no to cake. Even when it’s this pretty.