If by chance, you have read any of my past blogs - you know that I LOVE....almost everything. I'm talking, eclectic lamps, gorgeous hard wood flooring, boot camp, innovated design, braised short ribs, the beach @ any given time, bamboo, rustic & contemporary furniture, the farmers market, cooking, music of all genres, gourmet cheeses, stainless steel appliances & granite countertops - we could literally sit here all day.
BUT in an effort to keep you from thumbing or in this case scrolling through the pages of one blog, I will cut to the chase (I feel like I say that often) and fill you in on one of my new favorite places. I mentioned this wonderful establishment in a prior blog, having only word of mouth to fuel the content. Last week, I took my mother, a bottle of Conundrum and my painters cap to Painting with a Twist.
Upon entering, you see the many paintings on display. Some are simple, others a bit more complex, some had such a color profile that one might question their own ability to produce a similar painting and why they walked in there in the first place. Here is what's nice about that though, the instructors paint with you step by step. If you need help, they are more than willing. If the flower you are painting somehow looks like an elbow - they have ways of fixing it. The two instructors we had, honestly made the night! One was a graduate of the Ringling School of Art with a personality that made you smile on the inside. She played music while we painted and it varied from Tina Turner to Britney Spears, we were encouraged to sing along or take the stage. She was hilarious! The other instructor, a seasoned painter, whose energy was so refreshing and magnetic that you couldn't help but gravitate towards her. Throughout the entire class, she was using phones & camera's to capture the moment. I appreciated that so much. Both of these ladies exuded such talent, and sincerity - I cannot wait to go back and see them again!
The piece that we were painting that night was a Buddha, This rendezvous was a Mother's Day gift for my mom, and we were both beyond excited. The instructors have the canvas all set up for you, your color palate ready to go, the required brushes and water to clean them with. Aside from the mingling, you walk in and its go time!! They encourage you to bring in a snack and/or some wine or beverage of your choice. The idea is to make this experience one you will tell everyone about and NOT forget. So easy to LOVE!
From start to finish, we were there for approximately 3.5 hours. This included time allowing the canvas to dry before applying the next color, refilling your wine glass, popping in on the class in the back to catch a glimpse at what it was that had them all laughing, and checking out those around you to see how their painting was going. Such a chill environment.
Some other fabulous perks? Well, I thought you'd never ask! If you have a group of at least 5 people, they let you to pick the painting and still allow the session to be open to the public! If you are looking for a private party, that only requires a minimum of 10 and they lock the doors! Have children? Looking for something great to do with the grandkids when they come in? Yes. You got it, they have sessions for the munchkins! I cannot wait to take my son, he has already picked out the piece he wants to paint!! Do you know those frequent shopper cards that you might get at your local deli, or favorite boutique?? Ya know, the ones that if you spend a certain amount, or buy enough pastrami on rye you get one FREE. Well, what they offer is a free session after 10 punches on that dandy little card. During your session, if you post to any social media - they stamp your card! That is their way of saying thank you for helping us advertise.
With over 500 paintings in the collection, there is surely something for you!!! Oh! Remember that blog I wrote, about our BREATH TAKING beaches? And you went to check it out yourself? That picture you took of the sunset, with the seagulls whose timing was impeccable-flew right in front of the sun - yes, that one. If you want to paint it, take your picture in and they will submit it. Once approved, they paint the template then invite you in to sit down to paint the photo you took!!! If you gave me the entire day to write about all the excitement that occoured in that short 3.5 hours, I just don't think I could. I'm hooked.
I left there feeling like if Salvador Dali were around today, he would high five me. Key word in that sentence is "feeling" like....obviously my painting pales in comparison to the intricate, questioning pieces of his art that I love so much (I can't help myself) but the take away is what this place does for your soul, your energy and just your overall wellbeing. I will admit, there were times during my painting that I was certain it looked nothing like the template. If you have those moments, the instructors will tell you to trust us and keep going. I'm sure my Buddha's ears are not even, he may have one eye bigger than the other but its perfectly fine with me. I walked away with the first of many memorable paintings, and you know.....I just love it.