URBAN ADVENTURE: Painting with a Twist
By Danielle Charbonneau | Photos by Jeff Graves
It started with a rainbow — first a quarter circle of yellow painted in the left bottom corner of the canvas, followed by thick arches of magenta, cerulean blue, then midnight blue and black, stretching diagonally to the upper right corner. We dipped our medium brush into a cup of water, using the wet bristles to smooth and blend the edges between each color. Next, a scraggly paintbrush our teacher Roger nicknamed “stringy” was used to splotch paint over the canvas, creating the sunset sky backdrop on which we were about to paint some islands, palm trees and a night sky with a shooting star.
Roger, an artistic-type with long brown hair and a beard, stood at the front of the room on an elevated platform, guiding us through each step. I had flashbacks of watching Bob Ross in high school painting his “happy little trees” and seagulls in misty clouds. While Roger didn’t quite have the enchanting, meditative voice of Bob Ross, he guided me into a state of serene, creative calmness nonetheless.
Roger’s canvas was also projected onto a nearby television screen so if the room happened to be full, we’d all have a full view. This night, however, there were only four of us. Across from me was an adorable girl wearing thick polka dot glasses celebrating her 6th birthday.
The scene was not what I had imagined at Painting with a Twist, a teaching studio that encourages guests to drink wine while they create or bring their own booze to enjoy (thus the “twist”). I had imagined a more dimly lit cocktail lounge with classy adults sipping Sauvignon Blanc as they casually painted and caught up on neighborhood gossip.
The space at Painting with a Twist was pleasantly much brighter — with colorful paintings on each wall, fluorescent lighting above and a fun prize wheel at the front. Throughout the class, we participated in competitions — such as painting a picture on a paper plate held on top of your head, or getting the most likes on a selfie posted while painting. The vibe at Painting with a Twist was fun and inviting. Granted, I did attend the earlier of the Friday night classes, so perhaps I experienced a tame session. Co-owner Holly Fuente said some of the parties at Painting with a Twist can get wild — especially bachelorette or private events at which the wine is flowing. Even so, Holly said Painting with a Twist is never pretentious, always fun.
The experience caught me by surprise in a few other ways as well. I had imagined I would be chatty with my fellow painters, conversing while creating; instead I became peacefully quiet and focused as I tuned into the flow of painting. The experience was meditative. There was no pressure to create a masterpiece — the class was designed step-by-step to suit even first-time painters. Yet, I was pleasantly surprised at how easily and quickly we all completed a beautiful painting (in under two hours). Even the young birthday girl’s finished canvas was impressive (Truth be told: it was not just impressive, but far better than mine!). And, the whole experience — supplies and all — is just $35 per person.
At the end of the class, we all posed for a snapshot with Roger and our finished paintings. On the way out, I snapped a picture of the class calendar posted in the window which features thumbnail images of each class’ themed painting (such as mermaids, wine, shootings stars, kisses, moons and more).
In addition to the on-site classes, Painting with a Twist hosts off-site paintings at bars and restaurants. And Wednesdays are “Free Wine Wednesdays” (each guest gets a free glass). The schedule is packed, with multiple pubic classes Tuesdays through Sundays.
To view a full schedule, visit paintingwithatwist.com/studio/deerfield-beach. The Deerfield Beach franchise of Painting with a Twist is owned by Holly Fuente and Matt Santangelo. The studio is located at 1185 S. Federal Highway, Deerfield Beach in the corner of the Rivertowne Square Plaza.