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THE PAINT BAR.

August 22, 2011
warning: ashley has a new obsession.
it’s called the paint bar.

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i was recently invited to join a group of emerson girls who planned to head to newton for a fun tuesday night at the paint bar. (major kudos to stephanie trovato for this find.) who doesn’t like a little tuesday fun? i’m in.

somehow we hit very little traffic after work and were at the front door in no time, ready to meet up with the others at 6:30pm. from the sidewalk, we could see canvas upon colorful canvas lining the walls inside… and a daunting number of stark white canvases on table easels that would become our very own works of art. eek, deep breaths. we signed in, received our palette & set of paintbrushes, then made our way to our table, quite appropriately named “the emerson group.” we were instructed to add paint to our palettes at the paint station in the front of the room, equipped with a sign that told us just how many pumps of each color to take. then… to the bar! in case you didn’t get it from the name, there is both painting and drinking involved in this activity. score. they offered wine by the glass, bottled beer and even some prosecco. the selection was excellent, especially without having a true full bar. to name a few: riesling, malbec, pinot noir, magic hat #9, sam summer, allagash white. i could already tell this would be good. and to top it off, the options were rather affordable – $6 for beer/wine or $9 for prosecco – and they had $1 snacks… fritos, please and thanks!

oh, let’s rewind a little. we all registered in advance (you can sign up and pay online or by phone) and were able to request to sit with the other people in our party; we had a full table of 6 for our group. it’s $35 per person and includes your canvas, supplies, paint, and use of an apron. you can also check out the calendar on the website to see what you will be painting on a certain date. i can tell you that i’ve already gone back to the calendar about a gazillion times to see what’s coming up in september and october. but i’m crazy. it’s cool.

around 7 o’clock, jackie took to the small stage area in the front of the room, armed with her own paint & supplies, ready to teach the class and control the itunes playlist. jackie is the daughter of the mother-daughter duo that started the paint bar (her mom is jill) and she explained the concept of the paint bar, the importance of leaving your type-a self behind for the evening, and the process of become a paint bar addict. she gets extra cool points for being a red head. even better still, she calmed our nerves, made light of the fact that she was about to let us loose on a canvas with little to no experience, explained the rules (no negativity, no talking when the music is turned down), and walked us through identifying the paintbrushes before us. and then the moment of truth, our first brush stroke. after a healthy sip of wine, we dipped into the yellow paint and got down to it. big brush. paint a line across your canvas, one-third of the way from the top.

we were walked step by step through each portion of the painting, until it actually started to look like the demo painting on stage. i was amazed. and with wine in hand and tunes coming from the laptop (primarily a glee-themed evening), it only got better from there. we were on our own with instructions about where to put our next dot or line and what techniques to use, plus we could be as creative as we wanted to with color, placement, you name it.

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and slowly, but surely, our paintings started to look an awful lot like the model painting (tonight’s subject was “the funky tree”), but with our own spin. and it was a blast.

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most of the room was filled with girls around our age, but there were two brave guys among all of that estrogen. and there was a younger artist (maybe 8 years old? i’m not good with ages) who couldn’t partake in the adult beverages, but who painted a phenomenal painting. they also have couples nights, where each person in the couple paints a canvas and they fit together to make one big painting. this jill and jackie – they’re pretty smart, huh?

before we knew it, it was just about 9:00pm… time to clean up and show off our masterpieces.

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ta da!


all you have to take care of is your brushes and they clean up the rest. then you’re left to marvel at the fact that you actually just painted an entire canvas and it looks like a funky tree. can you tell i’m still a little bit in shock? i think the emerson group did quite well… check it out:

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{photo by jackie of jackie schon photography}
can you stand it? painter & photographer.


jill made her way through the room to hand out “addicted” painter cards, which i eagerly received. if you get it punched for 5 visits, you get the 6th one free. i’m not so sure that i have wall space (or cubicle space as the case may be, since that’s where the funky tree took up residence) for that many paintings, but maybe i’ll have to rotate them seasonally…. if you can’t tell, i think the concept is so cool. technically, the idea for the paint bar came from a paint & sip event that the schons attended, so it’s not the first of its kind, but this place is really well done. it’s a great activity for friends, couples, co-workers, and more. i think i’ve already convinced my co-workers to make it a department outing. who else wants to go paint?

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. simplyshire permalink
    August 22, 2011 8:23 am

    Hello!? “Addicted” Painter cards?? Paintings would make awesome presents!!! LOL 🙂

  2. August 22, 2011 9:04 am

    This looks awesome- I totally want to go! PS- kudos for you for blogging while away, you go girl!

  3. stephanie permalink
    August 24, 2011 8:46 am

    So happy you had fun! I’ve also been stalking their calendar and picking out which painting I want to do next!! We’ll have to go again- soon!

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