No matter if you have great artistic ability or are like me, without an artistic bone in your body, I have a recommendation for an afternoon activity that is sure to make you smile - and help decorate your home or office in the process! Paint and Sip is a two-hour painting event that combines a simple painting lesson and cocktails for an enjoyable afternoon of creativity! Everything you need is provided, including acrylic paint, a blank canvas, an apron, and refreshments. All you need to bring is a fun-loving friend or two, and I guarantee you’ll have fun!
Recently, I spent two hours at The Brushery, which is run by Ruth, at 87 River Street in Saranac Lake. I brought my mom and my aunt who were visiting from Long Island with me to the class, and upon walking in we were immediately greeted by the welcoming staff and some unbelievable baked goods (cronuts, brownies and s'mores bars…yum!) from Cake Placid bakery. Next to the table of delectable treats was a metal tub with champagne and other cocktail refreshments, including non-alcoholic choices if that was preferred. The signature cocktail on the menu, however, was an apple cider mimosa, complete with a cinnamon sugar rim on the glass, so we all opted to try that to start!
Once we were armed with our cocktail, we chose our spot in the room. We picked the table by the window, looking out onto Lake Flower, which was beautiful on another sunny fall day. The tables were set up with easels and canvases, paint brushes, water and aprons, with six people fitting at each table. Fun music was playing softly to set the mood, and after we tied on our aprons, we were instructed to choose between two different paintings for our inspiration. If you have some artistic ability and wanted to paint something completely different, that was ok, too. We definitely decided to go with one of the suggested paintings!
The two options for painting on the day we were there were some yellow sunflowers on a maroon background, and a Halloween-themed painting with an orange background and a tree silhouetted in a full moon. My aunt and I chose the tree painting because it looked like it would be easier, and my mom painted the flower because she is very artistic.
With some fun music playing softly in the background, we sipped our mimosas and munched on cronuts while we decided which paint we needed to complete our masterpieces. Many colors of paint were available, and we used paper plates as our palettes to pour our paint and leave room for mixing colors. We prepared the canvas by painting it first with water, and I was feeling relaxed even though drawing or painting normally gives me anxiety. First, I painted the black grass, which took up about a third of the canvas. It was pretty easy and gave me some confidence! I then painted the top half orange mixed with a hint of yellow, which also went pretty well! I was getting the hang of this!
Feeling so relaxed and a little cocky because I was thinking I was pretty good at this after all (and on my second mimosa!), I made a mistake and painted the tree after my background dried, and then learned I was supposed to have painted the moon first so it would be behind the tree. And here is why I love this event – it was no big deal! I waited for the tree to dry, then painted a big, bright moon right over the branches! Once that was dry, I continued painting my tree.
While each section was drying, we just enjoyed the music and walked around to see what everyone else was painting. Even though I didn’t know anyone else in the room, we all were having a great time together, even giving each other pointers and learning by watching each other’s techniques. You could ask for help as you went along from the instructors, or just go with it and see where your imagination would take you.
By the time the event was over, we had a bunch of people who painted the same pictures that looked very different. But even though they all looked different, each one was really good in its own way! I never thought this would be for me, but it definitely is something I would do again. Plus, I now have a Halloween decoration to hang in my house!
Besides scheduled events, which you can find out about on The Brushery’s Facebook page or on their website, they also will host private events and fund-raisers. Be sure to contact them and sign up to unleash your inner Picaso today!