Women & Wine: Unleash Your Inner Picasso

I’m a creative person, but I have a myriad of projects sitting in closets and drawers waiting to be finished. For some of you, I bet the same thing has happened, or maybe you feel the creative gene skipped over you and you are afraid to even try. Either way, Rochester offers several opportunities to teach you how to channel your inner Picasso.


Sip and Splash

If you haven’t heard, Canvas & Chardonnay, The Urban Easel and Wine & Canvas Rochester are all great places to get your paint on while enjoying an adult beverage. Each business has its own unique way of teaching painting classes for people of all ages and abilities.

Canvas & Chardonnay has a large studio with room for about 60 people. During the painting session, the studio has the faint smell of acrylic paint, along with great music that many sing and dance to during the class. There are also staff members walking around to answer questions and assist painters. 

At the front of the class, the co-owner and instructor at Canvas & Chardonnay, Lisa Schneider, stands next to her painting and provides step-by-step instructions that are simple and easy to follow. She verbalizes each step and then demonstrates it. Cristal Adkins, a painting participant says, “I don’t have an artistic bone in my body. She does a great job explaining each step.”

Schneider says, “Sign up for a painting that you like, even if you think it looks difficult. Our paintings are all paintable. The instructors here are knowledgeable and talented painters. They’re patient and helpful.”

Canvas & Chardonnay offers wine and beer, so you can sip while you paint. “The most popular wines are Apothic Red and a Moscato from Four Daughters Vineyard & Winery in Spring Valley,” Schneider says. Many of the painters agree that having a glass of wine helps them relax and makes it a little easier to express themselves.

Creating Amazing Artists

The Urban Easel is another fantastic place to tap into your artistic side. Not only do they have a studio in Rochester, but they are a mobile studio as well, traveling up to two hours from Rochester. They also have an “Open Studio” where you pick your favorite painting and get one-on-one instruction.

One of the owners of The Urban Easel, Elise Tensley, says, “Some of our paintings are more like fine art, but our class sizes are small so we can ensure that you understand the instructions. We also want people to learn something. We show different brush strokes and color mixing techniques so that we’re helping to create amazing artists.”

“We encourage painters to make the painting their own. We love when painters choose their own colors,” Tensley says. She adds with a chuckle, “Sometimes [the paintings] are more creative than mine.”  

Painting Parties

Check your community calendars because Wine & Canvas Rochester is strictly mobile. They hold public painting parties at restaurants and other venues, as well as private sessions. Although they’re a part of a national company, Wine and Canvas Rochester has a lot of autonomy. 

“Our paintings come from local artists,” says Tim Schaefer, owner of Wine & Canvas Rochester. “We paint a lot of landscapes, floral arrangements and animals. We’ve done abstract art too. There are so many tastes out there; we try to vary color schemes and mix it up.”

If you haven’t attended a Wine & Canvas event, Schaefer encourages you to sign up. “It’s a fun night out and you’re able to finish a painting and take it home,” he says.

Nicole Czarnomski is a freelance writer.