Even if you never advanced past paint-by-numbers as a kid, a new kind of art studio has arrived in Westport that just may unleash your inner Monet. (And leave you with something wall-worthy in the process!)
Painting-with-a-Twist opened its spacious studio doors in December with the goal of taking the all the stress and some of the guess work out of creating original artwork by providing step-by-step instructions in an inviting, festive atmosphere.
“It’s intimidating to face a blank canvas, but what we’re focused on is the fun of art,” says Janice McGuire, who co-owns the franchised studio along with fellow Westporter and longtime friend, Ellen Meehan.
To that fun-loving end Painting with a Twist encourages a BYOB environment, inviting students to bring wine and other libations to its two and three-hour classes; even providing ice, set ups and a gleaming, full-service kitchen for catered parties.
“By turning art into more of a social event, people aren’t quite as nervous about those first few strokes of the paint brush,” explains Ellen. “And you’d be amazed by how great some of their paintings can be.”
Students choose classes from an online schedule posted monthly, choosing predesigned paintings (think whimsical aboriginal starfish, a floating lotus blossom, the Eiffel Tower) and then join a professional instructor for a step-by-step lesson in recreating the prototype painting.
“You get this whole range of people who go from being really creative to people who insist they can’t paint who surprise themselves,” says Sue Alexander of Wilton, an instructor at the studio. “I love it when someone doubts themselves, but ends up creating something really beautiful.”
Of course, a little liquid courage helps and the spacious studios, tucked behind the shopping center anchored by Pier 1 imports on the Post Road, were designed to be welcoming for all kinds of celebrations.
There are also mid-morning sessions available for those who may want to paint with just a cup of java instead.
Already, Janice and Ellen have booked bachelorette parties, milestone birthdays, and children’s events, a singles meet up and are committed to supporting monthly fundraisers for local charities and non-profits. “It feels like a perfect fit for Westport,” says Janice. “We’ve always been an artsy town.”
For more information and to see a class schedule visit paintingwithatwist.com/westport
Painting with a Twist
1460 Post Road East, Westport; 203-955-1855