Sunday, March 2, 2014

A Different Kind of Palette

Usually when I talk about pallets, I'm referring to wooden pallets that we're repurposing into some type of sign or home furnishing.  But today I want to tell you about Pinot's Palette and the great time I had the other night at a painting party.


My moms birthday was last week and we wanted to do something special for her, so we decided to take her out to dinner and then to a painting party afterwards.  Pinot's Palette is a relatively new  franchise and they recently opened in a location not far from us.  The concept is that you book a 2 or 3 hour session, paint a canvas that you get to keep and do a little beer or wine drinking if you're so inclined.  Sounds like fun, right?

We had dinner first and then headed over to Pinot's Palette and watched while they were setting up for the party.  They had 2 long tables set up with easels, brushes and paints at each seat....



 

 Everyone's name is written in chalk where they're supposed to sit.  The red solo cups were filled with water for cleaning our brushes, although thoughts of Toby Keith's "Red Solo Cup" song kept running through my head.  We were ready to party!!


We donned aprons to protect our clothes from any paint gone astray....


 


We wandered around and looked at all the painting examples on the walls.  Each night is a different picture theme and you can pick which night you'd like to attend, based on the painting they are scheduled to do.  They have a huge variety to choose from, including landscapes, cityscapes, custom designs or a replica of a famous painting.

 
People started to trickle in and quickly gathered around the bar, ordering drinks and settling in at a back table to snack.  You're encouraged to bring your own food to share or to order from a local pizza joint.  The mood was immediately festive and fun, with music playing in the background and everyone mingling.
 


Pretty soon they invited everyone to find their seats and we all sat down in front of our blank canvases.  Ok, let me tell you, I have no artistic ability when it comes to painting or drawing.  I still shudder when I remember how I cried when I had to draw a stupid horse in 4th grade and couldn't do it.  So staring at that blank canvas was daunting for about 2 minutes.  I wasn't expecting my painting to look like much, believe me.

 
 
 Do I look French????
 
Then the artist in residence took her place at the front of the room, waved her paint brush with a flourish and told us to start by covering the entire canvas with black paint.  Ok, I could do that. 
 


We quickly forgot our fears and inhibitions, loosened up and started to experiment.  The resident artist stood at the front of the room and instructed us every step of the way.  There was a canvas on the wall of the Enchanted Forest we are painting and the studio artist also has a blank canvas and painted along with us.  She told us what color paints to mix on our trays and how to start by randomly painting leaves across the upper half of the canvas.




Slowly we started adding additional layers of leaves in oranges and reds, using bolder strokes as our confidence grew.  We dabbed, blotted and blended to our hearts content until our canvas was an explosion of beautiful leaves.  Then we began to tentatively add clumps of brightly colored grasses in the foreground....


Here you can see the artist standing at the front of the room.  You can see the completed canvas hanging on the wall to her left.  They have a pedestal on order for her so in the future she'll be standing higher up and easier to see from all corners of the room, which I thought would be a good idea.




In between instructions they would crank up the music and leave us to sit and paint for 10 minutes or so.  There was a lot of laughter and chatter and I could see that everyone was really having a good time.  Half way through the session they took a break so everyone could stretch their legs, grab a bite to eat and sip a drink.  I just worked through the break, engrossed and perfectly content to play with my paints.

 
It was interesting to see our paintings slowly start to take shape and an actual picture began to emerge....
 
 



The last element we added was the trees.  For me, the trees were the hardest part of the whole project.  I couldn't get the hang of the branches or the proper shading on the tree trunks.  Chablis did a much better job on her trees than I did.  Finally, we touched up our leaves and grasses, filling things in here and there around the trees and getting everything to blend in nicely.....
 
 
Three hours later and here we are with our finished paintings.  Mom was really apprehensive about doing this and she later admitted how much she enjoyed it and how happy she was with how her painting turned out.
 

Laurie looks happy and said she's hanging her canvas in her office....


Chablis is hanging hers in her bedroom....


And mine is going to hang in the lake house....


Afterwards they gathered everyone for a group picture.  It was amazing to see everyone's finished product and how different and yet similar they were.  Look at all the happy faces!


You might be wondering what an evening of fun like this cost.  Well, it's normally $ 48.00 for a 3 hour session.  That includes the canvas, paints and artist instruction.  Alcohol is extra and you are free to bring your own snacks.  We got a great deal through Groupon and only paid half price.  It was the best $ 24.00 I've spent in a long time.  I can't begin to tell you how relaxing and freeing it was.  The only suggestion I would make concerns the music.  They played a great selection of tunes, but the volume was turned up a tad too high for my liking.  The studio is large, well lit and overlooks the street with huge floor to ceiling windows so passers-by can glance in and see the fun.  The atmosphere was pleasant, upbeat, and the employees were helpful and encouraging.



Pinot's Palette  currently has about 60 locations open across the country, with more planned.  They offer private parties, corporate events, mobile parties, date nights, girls night out, or any celebration you want.  If you're looking for a truly unique experience, this would be it.  And I'm telling you, do not let lack of artistic abilities hinder you in any way.  I am certainly no Monet or Rembrandt, but I have to say, I am really pleased with how my painting came out and pleasantly surprised at how well I did.  Of course, I didn't have to paint a horse....   This is definitely something that I would do again.


 Thank you to all at Pinot's Palette for a truly wonderful evening.
 
Pinot's Palette The Glen has linked my post to their blog - check it out!
 
(disclaimer- I'm in no way connected with Pinot's Palette.  This post was written strictly from the perspective as a fun experience for my moms birthday.  I've received  no compensation from Pinot's Palette nor was I asked to write a review.  Some photos in this post were graciously provided by Pinot's Palette and can not be used without permission.)



24 comments:

  1. That's a new one to me- Interesting idea for a business and it looks like you had fun.

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    1. It was a lot of fun John. Plus a great memory for Mom's birthday.

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  2. That looks amazing! Your painting AND the fun! I would never think to do something like that but now maybe I would. I had no idea it was this affordable either. Happy Birthday to your sweet Mom. What a beautiful group of artists you are! Sweet hugs!

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    1. Thanks Diane - as creative as you are, this would be a great experience for you to try.

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  3. I have heard of those before-- very fun concept. That is a good price nowadays too. Everyone's work looks great!

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    1. It's a very fun concept. We actually heard about it from my other sister who lives in Colorado and had done it first. She raved about it!

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  4. I'm the birthday Mom. I really resisted doing this and they talked me into it. Half way through and i was exclaiming how much fun I was having and I was glad I came. I would definitely do it again. Highly recommended!

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    1. Yes, I'm glad we nudged you to do it. Very fun experience!

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  5. What beautiful works of art! I've heard of these places but never been to one. Looks like it was a fun experience. And Happy B-day to your mom! :)

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    1. Thanks Linda - I'll be sure to let her know!

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  6. Replies
    1. Gail, if they open one of these near you, you have to go do it. SO much fun!!

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  7. Replies
    1. Give it a try Cathy if one comes near you. It IS fun!!

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  8. That looks like so much fun and I am so impressed with your painting, Kim. xo Laura

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    1. Thanks Laura: It will look nice at the lake house. Now I want to go do another one....

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  9. That looks like so much fun. Your pictures turned out great! I'm going to see if they have a place like that around here. That wold be a good gift to give my mom for her b-day!

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    1. EJ - this would be a wonderful gift for your mom. Something different that you could do together. Let me know if you find a place by you.

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  10. That does look like fun, I would love to have a birthday party like that!

    Tania

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    1. I think a party with a bunch of friends would be a lot of fun!

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  11. My Mom, Dad and I took several landscape painting classes many years ago and it was done very similarly.....and you are so right, all the paintings in the class were very different perspectives, but also similar....and it was so much fun!! See, you are artistic, yours looks fantastic!!! I'm so happy you enjoyed it....look around and see if there is an adult ed class for landscape painting there somewhere....keep on going...you are obviously very good!!! Excellent even!!! ....Happy Birthday to your Mom!!! :D

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    1. Ah, thanks Cheri. That is honestly the first picture I've ever painted. I've been so intimidated and traumatized my whole life about any type of art. If teachers used this approach in grade school I bet a lot more kids would enjoy art classes.

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  12. Awesome Kim! It looks like you all had so much fun. Your painting is amazing and will be perfect for the lake house. Just say neigh to horses!

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