I can’t tell you the last time I held a paintbrush in my hand. However, I can tell you the last time I held a glass of wine... that would be last night. Believe it or not, there is a place where you can do both simultaneously - in a controlled environment, of course. Enter Paint and Vino, the how-to painting studio where you are shown, step-by-step, how to bring out your inner painter all while sipping on delightful adult beverages.
It was a cool summer night when I made my way to downtown Pawtucket. It’s nice to see that more and more once vacant buildings and storefronts are slowly becoming occupied. I parked, stepped out of my car, looked out over the Blackstone River and was immediately greeted with the door held open. Once I made my way inside, I was greeted with rows of blank canvases, paintbrushes laid out and little plates of paint, ready to be picked up and brushed onto the canvas.
“What kind of wine are you in the mood for?” asks co-owner Rachel Araujo. There are whites and reds to choose from, with about three options of each, and of course, beer. Unsure of which to commit to, I try the Shiraz. “I feel like I could really use some chocolate or fruit to go along with this,” I muse. “Well then you have to try these chocolate-covered blueberries and pomegranates,” implores Rachel. (She read my mind before I even got here! It’s like she knew.)
So I’ve got my wine, I’ve got a good friend in tow, a chic black apron on and I am ready to start this painting adventure. Any nerves I have about my abilities are put to rest as our instructor takes the stage. Tonight, I am learning how to paint a rendition of Starry Night. (Hopefully I won’t lose any appendages during the process.) There are a couple of instructors at Paint and Vino with backgrounds ranging from graphic design to illustrating children’s books. Step-by-step we make our way through laying the foundation for our Starry Night. First the hillside, then the background base for the sky. Then (I think my favorite part), the small individual strokes that give Starry Night its chaotically beautiful essence.
What I walk away with is not only my very first piece of artwork I’ve made since middle school, but a newfound excitement for a new hobby. Aside from going to the occasional yoga class or following other fitness trends, there really aren’t a ton of wholesome activities for grown-ass adults to do. As much as I love the seasonal brews on tap or the latest couture cocktail, I do feel the need to feed my soul and connect to the artist locked beneath the layers of daily life. This experience did just that. It allowed me to connect to my inner artist, the one that I didn’t even know existed. It got my creative juices flowing (I even bought three blank 11x14 canvases) and I can’t wait to keep them going. 150 Main Street, Pawtucket. 680-0856.