Splatter – Wine & Painting

Splatter – Wine & Painting


Last Tuesday night was the first time I’d picked up a paintbrush to paint something other than a wall or my fingernails, or anything else requiring much more than a straight-ish line since I was around eight years old.

When I was a kid, I wasn’t exactly dis­couraged from painting, but since I lacked the skills to draw much more than a stick figure with “fancy” lips and eyelashes, I wasn’t exactly encouraged either. I did briefly take a painting class when I was in elementary school, but my memory of painting the beautiful fairy in the example picture I chose was that my instructor spent a good portion of our time together trying to make the wings on my fairy look less like weird white blotches on my fancy stick figure’s neck.

So why the sudden artistic ambition?

Well, it involved wine, of course, that prodigious muse.


That’s not to say I drank waaay too much wine and lost all paintbrush-related inhibition. Rather, wine was the carrot at the end of the stick that lured me to an event at the Coyote Moon Lounge in downtown Clayton, where I was asked to paint only after consuming wine. Painting and Coyote Moon Chardonnay? COUNT.ME.IN.

To be more specific, Elizabeth Hurst – who is the new arts coordinator in a partnership between the Watertown YMCA and the North Country Arts Council – invited me to take part in a preview event for a series of wine and painting classes she’ll be putting on throughout the winter months.


The concept is basic: you drink wine, and an instructor shows you how to paint a picture.

The result of wine + wearing a stranger’s apron + slopping around in a paper plate full of bright acrylics is far more entertaining than you might expect.  Besides the fact that I actually ENJOYED painting a REAL PICTURE for the first time in my life, I also had the opportunity to meet some really interesting and fun people with whom I might otherwise never have crossed paths.


The woman who sat next to me lives in Clayton, is active in the Clayton arts community, and makes pottery. The girl sitting across from me was a young mom, and had the most adorable Texas accent. We chatted about everything from whether scorpions are worse than spiders, to what constitutes real country music. (Oklahoma’s Toby Keith and Garth Brooks were loudly panned by my new friend in favor of Texas’ Lady Antebellum – I decided to forgive her because she painted lovely clouds.)

There were also a few couples who participated together. The instructor, artist and graphic designer Lindsay Williams, had a brilliant plan to avoid hurt feelings when the couples had to choose which painting would grace the good wall in the living room: they painted coordinating versions of the group assignment.


We were all allowed to get as creative as we wanted. Lindsay showed us the basics. We were given a crash course in color mixing, shown how to begin by painting the whole canvas (including the edges!), how to paint clouds and waves and islands.


But one guy painted Super Mario into a boat on his ocean. Elizabeth painted a castle into hers. I stuck with the plan and ended up with… a painting. I won’t be showing at the MoMA any time soon, but it’s also nothing I would throw away. I was even able to change my weird white blotches into tiny waves!


Heck, I might have a glass of wine tonight, break out the kids’ acrylics, and put some finishing touches on my painting, entitled The Tranquility of Naked Chardonnay.

If you have the opportunity, be sure and claim your spot at one of Elizabeth and Lindsay’s next wine and art events, entitled Splatter. The next event is Monday, November 25 at the Paddock Club in Watertown. Sign up now to enjoy good wine, good company, and a very entertaining evening.