Turning 27 a couple of weeks ago, I received one of the best and most creative presents from my little sister. She surprised me with a painting class that encouraged you to bring your own wine and snacks while you paint an original Van Gogh! Since I have not attended an art class since 8th grade I was a little worried as to what my painting would look like. My sister reassured me that the teacher paints with you and instructs you the entire way thru.
Located in Scottsdale off of Shea Boulevard, the company is called Carrie Currie Art Studios and is an adorable 2-room building capable of holding at least 30 guests. My sister and I were the first ones to arrive and were able to pick two seats up in the front across from one another. We decided to not sit side by side so we couldn’t see our unfinished canvases until we were done. The studio provides all the art supplies, aprons, and everything one will need to make a painting so all you need to bring is yourself and drinks if you would like. As others arrived it was interesting to hear how many have already been before and how some were brand new guests like ourselves. The teacher as well owner, Carrie began the course shortly after everyone took their seats and had their snacks and vino poured. She described the brushes and what each one was for and we had a palette of paint near us that she went over telling us about the different colors and described how she likes to mix them and create her own hues. I immediately began to relax and was ready to take on my blank canvas as though I was a professional. The painting we were recreating was Van Gogh’s “Olive Trees” and it didn’t look too difficult but it was still intimidating knowing I was attempting to copy one of Van Gogh’s masterpieces. Carrie instructed us step by step and broke down each brush stroke in easy terms and she allowed the class to take small breaks in between certain steps in finishing the painting.
After painting for about 2 and ½ hours I was pleasantly surprised to see my painting didn’t look as terrible as I had thought it was going too. It was neat seeing how everyone in the class interpreted Carrie’s directions a little bit differently than the next. One couple made their paintings not be during the day but in the evening and another lady ended up having more of a tropical feel to it than the mountain-like scenery most had created. My sister and I were thrilled to show one another and after the count of three we revealed each other’s drawing and were both agreeably shocked as to how good they each were. Us being completely different in life showed in our artwork as well, my trees were more like canopy trees and Jessica’s had more trees as well as taller looking mountains. Surprisingly though, our skies looked similar with the same wind like brush strokes of color mixed into our sun.
It was a wonderful experience and not only worked my imaginative side but my patience and creative side as well. Being a “grown up” we don’t get to express ourselves as often as we should so this would be a great place to come and tickle your artist itch! I would recommend this for a birthday present or an anniversary gift! Carrie also does children classes for birthday parties or special events. It can’t get much better than pretending like you’re the 2011 version of Van Gogh and being able to have a glass of wine at the same time! Cheers!