Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Colors & Bottles

Photos by OHventures

Take one part booze, one part art, and a dash of creativity and you've got Colors & Bottles, one of the coolest new trends sweeping the nation one stroke of a paintbrush at a time! 

Colors & Bottles is a revolutionary concept: teach people how to paint while drinking! Yep, it's that simple. As it turns out, all it takes is a bit of wine, a sip of beer, or a swig of liquor to loosen yourself up and unleash your creative spirit!

Twenty-seven year-old Ohio University alumna Jessica Burley (who hails from Columbus) cooked up the idea in 2011, holding the very first Colors & Bottles painting class in Columbus in October of that year. Just months later, in January 2012, Jessica added Chicago and Cleveland to her list of cities offering classes. The company grew exponentially throughout the year, adding cities from coast to coast, including Orlando, Denver, and Ohio's own Cincinnati. By the end of 2013, Colors & Bottles will be in at least 25 cities nationwide, and continues to grow! 

If you are intrigued, then read on and find out how what I thought was going to be just another Friday night with my wild and crazy friend of 15 years, Lauren, turned out to be the discovery of the artists within us thanks to Colors & Bottles! 

Each Colors & Bottles session lasts for three hours and typically costs $35 per person. The cost of the session covers all painting supplies, step-by-step instructions by a professional local artist, and of course your take-home canvassed masterpiece. To find out what classes are available in your area (Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati), all you have to do is check out the calendar section on the Colors & Bottles webpage. You will find that classes take place at a variety of locations, such as bars, wineries, restaurants, and art galleries. If the location serves alcohol, there typically will be discounted drink deals available for painters. If no alcohol is served, that means it's a Bring Your Own Beverage (BYOB) event.

Lauren and I attended a BYOB event at the 83 Gallery in the Short North, Columbus. Since she was pregnant at the time, I had the whole bottle of wine to myself that evening! When we arrived (before anyone else, mind you) we picked our seats front and center so we could get a great view as the professional artist taught us how to recreate her artwork. Soon, others filed in with their alcohol in tote, ready to get their creative juices flowing with a stress relieving session of art making!

The artist for the evening turned out to be Jaclyn Fischer (whose drink of choice was PBR) with a mermaid painting she wanted us to recreate. At first, I thought painting a mermaid would be pretty lame (I mean, I am a dude after all), but as time passed, it ended up working out and I was extremely pleased with my final product (below).

Even though both Lauren and I were very inexperienced artists - especially when it came to painting - both of our final products were rather nice. Our success was thanks to the artist (Jaclyn) teaching us the proper techniques for shading, outlining, contouring, blending, mixing colors, and other great tips. She gave special one-on-one attention to each and every one of us as we tried our best to mimic her original mermaid, and helped us when we reached a speedbump or made a mistake.

One of the coolest parts of Colors & Bottles was looking around at everyone else's final products to see just how different they turned out to be. Even though we were "copying" a professional artist's piece of work, we were all able to walk away with our very own, very unique, one-of-a-kind and personal paintings that we did all on our own!

My painting hangs proudly in my apartment, and I plan to go back gain and again to fill up my walls with more and more original art that I never knew I could do! Thanks Colors & Bottles!!

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