Recently, I joined several of the bf's coworkers for a fun outing of wine and painting sponsored by Pinot's Pallet, a franchise that recently opened a downtown location here in Fort Collins. What fun! $35 buys you a seat in the class, your canvas (and easel and paints to work with) and for just a bit more, you can buy a snazzy frame for your masterpiece. According to the website, BYOB locations vary according to local liquor laws, and some locations have beer and wine available to purchase... We ended up buying a red and a white (I literally couldn't tell you more than that about them).

The concept is easy enough, an instructer leads the class in painting by example. The company has a selection of paintings from which you can choose (either in a private party or by the night). Our class was a rare example where the instructer was new and hasn't actually done the painting, let alone teach it. We all made it through easily enough, she had a script to read and we diligently followed her instructions. The paintings and style of the class are designed to be done by a person of any skill level. Some steps were a little well...duh...for me and my oh-so-obviously-superior skills (is the sarcasm too drippy for you there?). For instance, one of the first steps for "whimsical fall" was to paint a yellow line, using your medium-sized brush, three-quarters of the way down the length of the canvas. The next step was to fill in the space below the painting with yellow paint, using short horizontal swipes of your brush. I finished these steps rather quickly and had a little too much time to drink wine, which made some of the later steps a little difficult, or sloppy, I should say. After the ground had been painted yellow (think filtered sunlight), we painted a blue sky above it and using the flat side of the brush, painted leaves in purple, red, orange, and even pink so that the colors blended and became lighter from left to right across the sky. (This step seemed to take forever---although maybe that was the wine).
My friend Lauren and I had a blast...and maybe a little too much wine
With the leaves in place, we all painted three long stripes which would become trees. I got pretty annoyed here and my trees ended up a little "halloweeny" as my friend Lauren proclaimed. The rest of the class was spent adding detail, in my case, this meant a bit of drunken water marks and smears to my as-good-as-it-was-gonna-get version of the painting. All in all, it was a terrific way to spend a girls night, and we got a better souvenir than the regular hang-over (although there was some of that as well haha!). I highly recommend this venture, for anyone considering---it would be a great bachelorette activity or for birthdays! And if you don't have something like this in your area, why not just grab some cheap supplies at michaels and host the party yourself? I suppose if you were investing-inclined, you could open your own franchise!
"Whimsical Eve" (the painting we attempted to re-create)
The whole gang! (See the website for more gallery shots of the different paintings)

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