As a creative, I am naturally drawn to experiences where I can make something with my hands, or learn a new skill. But how about if you are not so creative, and still want to be able to creative something beautiful, say, with a group of buddies? You should get into Painting With A Twist.
Founded in 2007 by Cathy Deano and Renee Maloney in New Orleans in the wake of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Painting With A Twist had the mission of lifting the spirits of their neighbors after disaster. In the eight years that the company has been in business, they have grown their paint-and-sip franchise to over 240 locations in 33 states, with 100 additional openings by the end of 2015.
I was invited out for a special blogger’s night at one of their new locations in my neck of the woods in Brooklyn.
Opened in September by sisters-in-law Suzette and Felicia Riley, Painting With A Twist of Brooklyn is located in the heart of Cobble Hill on bustling Smith St. Upon entering the bright space, albeit a few minutes later than I expected, I was greeted by warm faces, a spread of dinner options, and of course, the choice of white or red wine. I had arrived just in time to take my seat in front of a blank 16 x 20″ canvas, with a small array of paints and brushes to use within the lesson.
The beginnings of my masterpiece
Our instructor was super lively and approachable, ensuring that painters of all levels would be able to complete the evening’s assignment which coincidentally, was of a large glass of red wine. The first step was to cover the canvas in a golden tone and add a few red strokes. As I am a type-A personality (which our instructor caught on to rather quickly) I reeaaaallyyy took painting seriously. My father is a painter and I would help paint certain pieces of his work when I was a child, so this was important!
The final product
Although I may have taken painting a bit more seriously than some of my counterparts in class, I truly realized how relaxing and therapeutic it can be. To constantly be on the move, writing, and updating on social media, it was really nice to focus on one thing for a little over an hour.
My painting and I
You must excuse my sleepy/greasy face in the photo as I was running on E, but I must say, I am really proud of this piece. I hadn’t painted on canvas in maybe 15 years, so this moment was really satisfying to me. I took a little longer than the class, but I completed my work; which is most important.
The entire group and their masterpieces
It was really fun to be in a group, majority women, to unwind, paint, and really take a break from the outside world. The experience is excellent for a date night, a girl’s night, birthday party, or even for a group of children as they offer a range of classes. You may view them all here.
The evening ended with a few special raffles, and guess who won a gift certificate for a free class? This girl right here! Can’t wait to go back. Maybe I will see you there.
Painting With A Twist – Brooklyn
228 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
*All photos by Andrea K. Castillo