Why You Should Try Wine and Paint Night

As if any of us ever needed an excuse to drink wine.

All jokes aside (wait…wine is never a joke), paint and sip parties have become a popular nighttime activity for any occasion. It is probably pretty difficult to find someone who hasn’t attended a wine and paint event at least once; however, if that someone is you, then keep reading! If you’re among the majority of us who have attended a wine and paint gathering and are interested in hosting one of your own, I’ll also tell you how to pull it off!

What is Wine and Paint Night Anyway?

I’m sure you’re wondering what is so appealing about painting with a group of strangers aside from the drinking wine part. Well, most people have testified that this experience can be enjoyed regardless of your skill level, making it an accessible way to nurture your artistic spirit! To summarize the itinerary for the evening, you’ll start off by meeting your group and instructor at a restaurant (I’d be willing to bet that it’s at your local Mimi’s Café) or possibly an art studio – if you’re fancy like that. The art leader will have selected a painting to help the group recreate step-by-step. It is pretty easy to follow along, as the instructor gives you plenty of time to complete each portion and sip your wine in between strokes. After all, let’s not forget the real reason why we’re here.

In my opinion, even those who are otherwise artistically inept are able to create something resembling the model painting. The environment is all about fun, and it really is a no-judgement zone. All supplies are included in the cost of admission, so all-in-all it should be a stress-free experience. However, the only downside is that wine or cocktails are usually a separate charge, although many places allow you to BYOB.

Sounds Fun, But What is This Going to Cost Me?

Generally a seat at most established and organized wine and paint nights will cost between $35-50. Remember, this includes supplies but usually NOT ALCOHOL.

Again, as is true for most popular activities in large metropolitan areas, I recommend searching for deals on Groupon. At the time of this post, admission to a wine and paint night in Los Angeles is being offered at $25.

Can I Do This at Home?

Absolutely! To host a Paint Night in the comfort of your own home requires some planning, but there are tools out there to help! For the simplest and most straightforward way to acquire all of the necessary supplies I recommend Social Artworking  as a one-stop-shop. They offer individually sold canvases, brushes, and paint, but you can also purchase a party package which includes all of these. They even provide various paint templates to choose from along with the instructions.

Of course, you can stop by your local Michaels or art supply store to get all of the necessary materials. There are various free YouTube tutorials which provide instructions for paintings of various difficulties; simply search “Paint Night at Home” and you’ll have so many options to choose from.

Whether you use Social Artworking or an art store to prepare for your at home paint night, here are additional things to keep in mind:

  • Make sure you have a large workspace, such as a floor or table, where you and your guests can comfortably spread out and paint.
  • Cover the work stations with a disposable tablecloth or sheet to avoid unwanted spills or damage to your home.
  • Provide everyone with a water cup, small paper plate for paint mixing, and paper towels.
  • Don’t forget the wine!

I’ve Tried Wine and Paint, What Else is Out There?

I get it, there are only so many times you’ll enjoy social painting before getting bored with it (or accumulating too many canvases). Here are a couple of other experiences that play off of Wine and Paint Night, but offer a little bit of a twist!

  1. Plant Nite – Um, what? Yes, plant nite is actually a thing. With the increase in people’s fascination with succulents and other desert plants, it’s no surprise that you can assemble and create your own arrangement to take home.
  2. Taste of Mosaics and Wine – Learn how to create colorful tile mosaics by hand! This is the most hands-on social art experience I’ve had – you select your own tile and focal point stone, which you break apart yourself with some fancy tools! I’m actually surprised our instructor allowed us to drink wine AND break things!
  3. There are so many other social art options out there – I’ve read about woodworking, calligraphy, candle making, and flower arranging workshops in Los Angeles alone! Look around your city for all of the options, pick one, and voila – you have an outing for a date, girl’s night, or any other occasion worth celebrating.

Art

As part of my quest for hobbies and skills, I have taken up painting and sketching. I’m definitely not a trained or experienced artist, so it benefits me to believe that art is subjective and can be interpreted in many different ways by its audience. I find artistic expression to be very soothing, and my methodical approach to painting is a great outlet for stress and anxiety. Although normally I would feel insecure about sharing my creations with others, I think that challenging myself to do so would strengthen my connection to the world around me.

Feedback is always welcome, and I thank you for indulging my creative spirit! See below for a few samples of my work – I hope to look back on these in a few months as a measure of progress.

1. Drawing cartoon versions of heroes from the Defense of the Ancients (DotA) computer game.

IMG_2583.JPG

2. Sketch of deer at Nara Park in Nara, Japan.

IMG_3744.jpg

3. Painting of a bonsai tree and mountain view

IMG_3939.jpg

Doin’ It Yourself

There’s something empowering about being able to use my hands to create something that probably would have otherwise cost me an arm and a leg to have done professionally. Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a little bit, but it really is fun to have small projects that entertain you, as well as save you money! Some DIY tasks are pretty simple, like the wine cork coasters I made while I was in college with – you guessed it – corks I had saved from wine-filled nights of debauchery (you know the type).

Some of my other craftworks have been months, if not years, in the making like refinishing and painting my wooden dresser. There are also all of the projects I have ‘pinned’ on Pinterest, and the list grows larger everyday. I thought that now would be as good a time as any to commit myself to some DIY activities, and I’m looking forward to sharing my creations here with you! I’ll also outline step by step instructions so that you can DIY too.

il_fullxfull.309039332.jpg

Easy DIY Wine Cork Coasters:

Materials:

  • Pot
  • Water
  • Knife
  • 16 corks (makes 4 coasters)
  • Hot glue gun
  • 4 cardboard squares (or other thick, square surface)

Step 1: Boil the corks in a pot of water for 5 minutes. This softens the corks for easier cutting.

Step 2: Once the corks are cool enough to touch, slice each cork in half length-wise. This should give you 32 cork halves.

Step 3: Arrange 8 cork halves on each square in whatever pattern you’d like to make sure it fits.

Step 4: Using the hot glue gun, glue the cork halves to the square surface, flat side down. Let dry, and you’ve got yourself some rustic new coasters!

Photography

We’re lucky to have digital means by which to produce art. Manual forms of expression like painting, drawing, and sculpturing are extremely beautiful, but thankfully alternatives like photography exist for those of us who lack the dexterity to create with our hands. One of the things I like most about a photograph is that despite being a snapshot of time, it is a timeless representation of the world and the human experience. An organic picture will transport the viewer into the exact moment it was captured.

Yes, using a professional-grade camera requires some practice and skill, but we are all capable of recognizing a breath-taking moment when we see one. Because the product of photography is easily accessible by many, it is a popular artform that is featured on worldwide platforms like Instagram.  You may see pictures of the same place, but each will be from a unique vantage point with a different caption. If you’re looking for a way to introduce your own perspective of your experiences to the world, well, photography could be it.

Check out my Instagram here and a few of my own photographs below:

1. Up in the Air – Mt. Baldy, California.

untitled.png

 

2.  Artist’s Easel – Somewhere in Arizona, USA.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BAu1UJRCqe6tGDf11Ej-LEVqRUilYXuh0od8300/?taken-by=anomaleen

untitled.png

 

3. In Focus – The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

untitled.png

 

4. Safe Haven – China Peak, Shaver Lake, California.

IMG_2711.JPG

 

5. Weeping – Kawachi Wisteria Garden, Japan

IMG_3072.PNG

Music

You know that silly icebreaker where people ask: “if you were stuck on a deserted island, what are the three things you would have with you?” Aside from it being an unrealistic and somewhat lame prompt, it sometimes is grounding to think about the most important aspects of your life. For me, the answer to this question could vary depending on when you ask me, but an auto-include in my survival trifecta will always be music.

Music has been there for me during break-ups and other emotional periods of my life. There is something so healing about listening to your favorite song on repeat and savoring every word, every beat. Music is the gift that keeps on giving, no strings attached.

No matter what genre you prefer, music is a valid art form. I personally enjoy classic and alternative rock, while my sister loves hip-hop and rap. Despite that fact that our tastes are on the opposite sides of the spectrum, we have both been able to similarly express our personal experiences with music. Throughout my friendships and relationships, I have been exposed to country, electronic, metal rock, and yes – even classical – tracks. No matter the genre, I have been able to appreciate all types of music for its ability to invoke emotional responses among us all. Music really is the universal language.

Here is a link to one of my favorite songs ever, The Scientist. If you’ve heard it, try to find something new to appreciate. If you haven’t, try to connect with the lyrics and get lost in the melancholic beat.

 

 

Film

If I could really commit myself to an industry and craft, it would be film. I know, I know – I have a completely separate part of my blog dedicated to careers and stuff, which unfortunately takes a more realistic stance on professional success. But hey, a girl can dream right? I certainly don’t envision myself being an actress; it is the thrill of visual storytelling which fascinates me. That includes screenwriting, cinematography, and editing.

I’ve tinkled a bit with free film editing software and have developed a few creations of my own for school projects, organizational promotions, and personal showcases. I particularly enjoy the combination of film and music, and aspire to one day build a library of home-made music videos of songs that speak to me. I’m definitely not expecting these to end up on MTV or anything; instead this is simply another way for me to express myself creatively and uniquely.

Please check out a video I made featuring the highlights of a recent trip I took to Japan. Instead of putting together a classic slideshow, I decided to turn the video footage I took during the trip into something a little more creative that I feel captures the essence and richness of this country’s beauty, culture, and history.

Song credit: Coldplay “Lovers in Japan”