In a welcoming art studio with walls covered with previously created projects, there are tables full of middle-aged moms getting together for their weekly night out, a bachelorette party and a couple on their second date. A bottle of wine sits at each table in between the soon-to-be painters who sip on their glasses.
Paint-and-sip classes bring what is considered a niche talent for certain people to a wider audience. An instructor leads the class and provides all of the materials the participants will need. Often a simple design with vibrant colors and a statement background will be the final piece for the classes to try to paint.
Many people attend these classes for different reasons and with different people, usually to bond with a group of friends to or have a party with the central theme of the painting class. The main target audiences is usually corporate coworkers after work or for moms on a night, or morning out with friends all with the goal of doing something out of the ordinary, according to Forbes Magazine.
Forbes also states there have been a few noteworthy locations, one called “Painting with a Twist,” which opened in New Orleans and “Pinot’s Palette” in Texas; these locations have been growing in popularity for a few years, and now both have more than 100 stores since opening.
The New York Times states this phenomenon has grown outside of the United States as there are now paint and sip classes in Abu Dhabi, London and Hong Kong. Also according to the Times, people are more happy purchasing an experience rather than an item, so the ability to make an art piece rather than buy one draws people to these classes.
I attended one of these classes in La Crosse, Wisconsin. These classes promote creativity for people who have never painted while allowing the veteran painters to show off their skills and experience.
They can be fun if the instructor prompts the painters to add their own twists to their pieces so they won’t all look identical at the end of the class. The added freedom would allow participants who don’t want to input their own ideas into the project to just follow along with the instructor while also letting those who want to think outside the box to do so.
In my experience, the people who attend these classes are people who consider themselves as generally lacking in artistic talent. This does not apply to everyone, but majority of the people in my life fit into this category. I can definitely see the appeal of these classes for people without previous experience in painting to want to try a new hobby.
I have painted many pieces on my own time, and I think classes that walk through a painting process are more fun for the people who do not take the time to buy their own supplies and paint a piece in solitude. My experience in the class prompted me to want to stretch the guidelines of the project and make mine look much different from everyone else’s while still having it look similar. The instructor did not push anyone to change the design she was showing.
Personally, I do not see the appeal and would rather attend a studio class without an instructor where every person is able to experiment with many new art mediums, not just paint. If the provided instructor would teach painting techniques, rather than step-by-step instructions to complete one piece, this would allow for the “students” to be able to take the techniques with them and maybe inspire them to buy some paint and a canvas and paint on their own time.
Art is meant to show individualism and while everyone’s unique style shows through the classes would be more enjoyable if a personalized subject would be an option to paint.