If the title made you do a double-take, you are not alone! This is the second year that the Burlington Paint & Sip Studio is bringing you a paint & sip experience like no other, and we thought you might like hearing how it came about, how it works, and what makes it so much fun!
Soon after buying the studio in 2019 we had folks suggesting the concept of painting a male model, and even had the opportunity to test-run such an event at a bachelorette party held in someone’s home. As you can imagine, much fun was had AND many lessons were learned. Among the most important lessons was seeing first-hand how hard it is for participants (especially participants while “sipping”) to paint a human figure. This becomes even more complicated when using a live model because everyone in the room has a different perspective, making it hard for the artist to accurately describe any one perspective to the whole group. We also know from years of experience that while a participant may not expect to create something museum-worthy, they do enjoy, under our regular class model, how well their paintings tend to turn out. We wanted a system that allowed for this kind of success, while also infusing a ton of fun!
We discussed all kinds of ideas… the location of the model in the studio, what kind of pose, how to handle the different perspectives of each participant, and how to make sure everyone had fun while being creative. Then it hit us! While “pre-sketching” is not something we normally do in our studio (wait for future blog posts on why this is) we realized that in this scenario it would make the most sense. Human figures are hard, but starting with a pre-sketched canvas allowed people to creates something unique while not having to worry about the accuracy of the figure. This also allows our model to be able to have more fun, engage with our crowd, and not have to hold an uncomfortable pose for 2 hours… always a win!
Once we had the general concept we started envisioning what would make the event the best it could be. The idea of it being an event that friends would get excited to gather together for, we talked about what time of year made sense. The whole concept of “paint & strip” certainly evokes a sexy-vibe, but we didn’t expect it was the kind of event couples would attend together (although they are certainly welcome to). Reminiscent of the concept of “Galentine’s Day” (the day or so before Valentine’s Day where friends celebrate together) we thought the timespan before Valentine’s Day would be a great time. Let’s face it, not everyone has a sweetheart to celebrate with, hanging out with friends is always in style, and by the time February rolls around in Vermont people are pretty much itching to get out and do something fun!
Okay cool, we had a timeframe and a concept, how else do we make this fun? A few years ago we held a special event in partnership with Jessa Pecor of Pure Romance. At this event we painted a really fun riff on a Georgia O’Keefe famous painting (and we all know what those resemble, right?) and Jessa offered her adult products for sale. This was a fun opportunity for people to get to see products in person before buying, ask questions, and some products she was even able to demonstrate! Needless to say, fun was had by all… so in considering how to make Paint & Strip extra amazing, we called upon Jessa! If you are not familiar with Jessa she is a blast, and unapologetic about helping others find fun products and ways to please themselves and/or their partners. We decided to build in extra time during this event to allow people time to shop and ask questions both before and after the painting period.
So now we have a male model, painting concept, and a fun vendor… how else do we ensure a great time? Well, why not include a little “sip” to get the party started? While our regular classes don’t include any beverages in the ticket cost, we decided this was the time to add in a special toast to kick-off the event!
We found that the extra half-hour at the beginning and end meant painters could have a drink, get comfortable and relax before bringing out our model. Once our model is introduced and disrobes (no, he is not completely naked, sorry) our artist walks participants through the process of choosing colors and bringing their pre-sketched canvas to life, while always encouraging an individuals unique additions. Don’t worry, the event includes plenty of “drink & dry” time where painters can get more from the bar, check-out others paintings (or the model, ha!) and just enjoy time out with others.
The extra time at the end not only allowed for finalizing shopping, but gave time to take copious amounts of fun pictures, finish drinks and just enjoy wrapping up a night of fun. We offer this event on both a Saturday night and a Wednesday night, so there is something for everyone!
Don’t be fooled that this event is just for women, or female-identified folks… we welcome everyone! Generally our participants are those who enjoy the idea of looking at a male model for a few hours, but mostly the whole event is about fun! If you want to hang out, have fun, enjoy some “sips” while creating something unique, join us! You won’t be disappointed!