Do you want a little paint with that wine?

Sue at the end of a wonderful evening painting at Durand Eastman. Nobody else painted a watercolor like that, I assure you.
The first time I heard of a Paint Night Event was when a student came back from a business trip to tell me he’d participated in one. Since I like wine and painting, I recognized it immediately as a tremendous idea, one I wish I’d thought of myself.
The premise is simple: a bunch of people gather in a bar or restaurant and paint under the direction of an instructor. The price varies from £40 in London (with hors d’ouevres) to $35 – $50 in Boston (with two cocktails) to $45 at the unbelievable 84 franchises of “Painting with a Twist” (with wine).
This is not painting instruction in any real sense; it is more like “follow the leader” or arts-and-crafts at camp. The instructor stands at the front of the class and guides the participants step-by-step through a set piece. If everything goes according to plan, the 30 or so participants should all end up with exactly the same painting.
Catherine and Lynn at sunset at Lock 32. A highly suspicious plastic cup, if you ask me.
To a painter, this seems weird—almost as weird as getting a paint-by-number kit for one’s birthday. But to non-artists, it seems to be tremendously satisfying. I’ve talked to people who’ve really enjoyed it. And if it motivates a few people to be interested in really learning to paint, that would be fantastic.
The problem is that painting is ultimately a powerful form of personal communication, and that requires a journey of discovery—not solitary, exactly, but individually guided.
We have been known to drink wine in our summer plein air classes as well, but usually under the trees as the light softly fades and we’re cleaning our brushes. Speaking of which, we move to weekday evening classes this month. If you’re interested in joining us, contact me by email
Nobody should expect to turn out work that looks like mine or anyone else’s in either my classes or workshops. I’d feel like a total failure if that happened.

August and September are sold out for my workshop at Lakewatch Manor in Rockland, ME.  Join us in June, July and October, but please hurry! Check here for more information.