It is so flipping cold. No one wants to do anything or go anywhere. Let alone dress up, put on makeup or drive outside of your little bubble. Scheduling a girl’s night out on the town during the week of January is about as difficult as asking people to go to Hawaii for two weeks without your kids. But my girls are bad-a**. They are pretty much up for anything. All it took was a little investigating on my part and one quick phone call to Wine and Design and we were booked to unleash our creative sides.
The ladies at Wine and Design were so helpful and explained to me that all you need to do is go on their website and pick a day that works for you. Each calendar day, a new painting is selected so you can not only choose the day that works for you, but you can pick your day by centering it around a cute piece of art you like. They offer classes in their studio as well as other Wine and Design on Wheels at fun locations around Charlotte such as Noda Brewery and Queen City Q. The other great option they have is to book a private room if you have between 8-12 painters. (I use painters lightly here. I more or less mean warm bodies.) I knew right away that this was the option for my group. Any given quiet night can turn into something rowdy when wine is involved and out of fear of scaring people, we opted for our own private room. The private room is the same price as the main painting room ($30) and we could pick our own unique piece to paint so for us it was a no brainer.
Once the room was booked we were able to pick from the RIDICULOUS selection of paintings that Wine and Design offers. They have everything from wine bottles, beach scenes, peacocks, fruit, flowers, trees… everything. I’m not kidding.. like a million things to choose from. We finally selected a Charlotte scene from the railroad that we thought would be perfect since we are letting the Queen City Moms know what’s up. (The “Charlotte Starry Night” piece is known as their most popular piece but wine bottles and glasses are also a big hit when selecting your art.
We all registered online, piled into a minivan with wine in hand and we were off!
The studio is located on East Boulevard and it is situated perfectly to tie in dinner/appetizers with your excursion. It is located right across the street from Brixx, Outback Steakhouse, JJ Redhots and more. Brixx Pizza actually has a drive up spot in front for call ahead orders where they will bring it right up to your car. Epitome of lazy and we were all over it with the cold winter weather. It’s also right in between 131 Main and Cantina 1511 so call ahead and pick up food for the group.
Once we got settled in our private room and started devouring our yummy apps from Brixx and Cantina, the wine began to flow. We all were able to spend some time catching up and admiring all the paintings in the studio, deciding which one we were going to come and do next.
Kimberly was our instructor and she was awesome, just like the rest of the staff at Wine and Design. She had such a great personality and I could tell she is able to mold to whatever each group needed from her. She could slow down when we needed her to or give a helping hand when someone was unsure. She even had a mad taste in music that she put on that fit our group perfectly and a wicked sense of humor. She was like a member of our group and felt like someone we would catch a drink with anyway. Double bonus.
As for the concept of Wine and Design, here is where the wine comes in. Not sure how many groups go up to this place and get hammered. (No judgement.) I would not suggest this unless you have a designated driver and no bus to get up for in the morning. The weekend studio classes are probably a bit more rowdy than our Wednesday night class too. I imagine that birthday parties, wedding showers, bunko nights, etc. can also get a little rambunctious. So if you are going up during the week and have to get up in the morning, maybe split a bottle with a friend. We found that for 8 of us each bringing a bottle, it was a little overboard. We had quite a bit of wine left so we took care of some of that in the back of the minivan on the way home. Maybe assign a couple people to wine and a couple people to apps, that way it evens out a little in the end. I’m thinking the purpose of the wine is to loosen the group up a bit, but 8 bottles would have had us in a very bad place in that studio so plan accordingly kids.
One question all of us had was what to wear? My suggestion, wear something comfortable enough to paint in that will not bring on a total freak out if you get paint on it. They do provide you with aprons to wear but the paint will not come out of clothing. Keep this in mind with your shoes as well. I learned this the hard way and wore a pair of cute Frye boots. I was nervous all night about it.
I know what you are thinking; I am no artist so this isn’t for me. Look, I do not have an artistic bone in my body! I mean I can barely color in my kids’ coloring book with them. The wine is merely a tool that allows you to relax and let the brushes just do what they need to do. We had a couple of type-A’s in our group and the wine was exactly what they needed to allow every line to not be perfectly straight or each color to be a shade that was just a little off. The music is flowing, the brushes are moving and everyone is having a great time so you just have to trust yourself a little and let the magic happen.
The best part is seeing how everyone’s painting looks so different with the same instruction. Sometimes you can tell who had a little more wine than someone else, or who has a little more artistic ability, but that is all in the fun of it. Are these paintings going to be mounted in the Mint Museum? No. But that’s not the point of it. For me, these times are about creating experiences and memories with my friends that teach us something new about ourselves. Honestly, this is the first painting I have ever painted in my life. Sad right? Wasn’t on my bucket list or anything but I left Wine and Design pretty proud that I did something that was a little out of my comfort zone and we plan on doing it again. 🙂
Wine and Design offers SO many more options for classes and will even come to you! Check out their website for information on a variety of painting sessions they offer from kids’ classes, to summer camps, to open studios, to birthday parties. You name it, they can most likely do it. Interested in trying out Wine and Design? We love it so much that we are offering you a coupon for $5 off a 2-hour public studio class, courtesy of Charlotte Smarty Pants! Yeah baby!