Celebrating Our First Year Back in Midtown
It’s been a year since Paint Party Studios moved back to Midtown and we’ve had a blast! A big thanks to all our wonderful customers who followed us to Midtown and to all our new customers who discovered us after we moved. We are looking forward to many more years on Upham Street and thought we’d share these montages of what a fun year it has been.
Our first few months (top left) brought many new faces into the studio – but for our regulars you might enjoy seeing some of our big canvases when they were still being painted.
The next few months saw lots of off-site Christmas paint parties at schools, churches and offices. We also celebrated birthdays of all ages and moved into Mardi Gras season with some festive paintings and decorations for our front window. (right)
As we headed into Valentine’s Day we had a huge turnout for our romantic Valentine’s Paint & Sip and then headed back to schools for lots of Mother’s Day paintings and end of school year paint parties.
We hosted even more birthdays for kids and adults, had girls night out, date nights, office parties, teambuilding events, fundraisers, class reunions, graduation parties and people coming in to paint just for fun!
It’s hard to believe how much we packed into just one year. We love being back in Midtown where there’s such a creative vibe that seems to bring out the inner artist in everyone who comes to paint with us.
We’re excited to see what this next year brings and hope everyone has had as much fun painting with us as we’ve had hosting paint parties. If you’re ready to schedule your next paint party – give us a call at 251-343-2423 to make your reservations to come paint with us in Midtown.
We’re excited to add over 50 new images to our online gallery including some fun new owls and peacocks which are always popular with our Paint Party Studios guests.
Whether you want to paint your own idea or choose from our gallery of hundreds of images, we’ve got professional artists on staff to help you create your own masterpiece.
What we like about these paintings is the bold use of color in each of them. The multi-colored owl is especially fun – it looks like she painted it with neon paints but really that’s just bold colors and the black paint makes it really pop.
We are often asked if everyone has to use the same colors as the original and our answer is always – not at all! We love it when our customers change up the colors and put their own personal twist on the images from our gallery!
Another fun twist is when painters add a little metalic or glitter paint to their painting. If you look closely at the green peacock, you may be able to see the shimmer of glitter that makes it pop. Likewise there’s some gold metallic paint on the gold and purple peacock.
We also have fun with swirls to add a little whimsy to paintings and make an otherwise flat space look fun and fresh. these curly swirls work well here – other times we use S swirls or polka dots or even chevrons to add a little pizazz to paintings.
The important thing to remember is to relax and have fun while painting. Each of these paintings turned out fantastic, but they all went through what we call the “awkward stage” that all acrylic paintings go through. Some of the painters that were first-timers started to get a little discouraged when it hit the “awkward phase”, but were delighted when it started to come together to be the amazing finished painting they got to take home with them.
Call us at 251-343-2423 to make your reservations to paint one of our new gallery images, one of our old favorites or bring your own idea.
We had some fun last week with our Wednesday class doing our art version of a Windows upgrade. Someone in Midtown was selling these old windows on Craigslist last summer and, since our Midtown studio doesn’t have a lot of windows, we thought we’d try something creative to make it seem like we had more of a view. With the help of our super artists in our Wednesday Mixed Media Art Class, we sketched out a beach theme on some unstretched canvas and went to work painting as a team.
Those in charge of water did a fantastic job mixing various blues and teals together to give the ocean a more realistic look, but the most fun was when we pulled out the sponges to give the sand some texture and add clouds in the sky. For a short time a storm blew in on our umbrella painting – our artists were having so much fun with their sponges they covered the whole sky in clouds. Since we had already committed to a sunny scene, we got some more blue paints out and went back to a sunny day, covering up the sky full of clouds with sponged on blue sky.
There was teamwork throughout the process as the umbrella painting required some coordination to pick the umbrella colors by group vote. I’m also very impressed with the team that painted the crab. One of our young artists, Ella, did most of the sketching for the crab herself as a freehand drawing after class a couple of weeks before. She then led her group in mixing reds and oranges to get the color she wanted and when he was just right, they got out the tiny brushes and outlined him in black. When they were all done, we added just a few highlights here and there.
Both paintings turned out really, really well – I couldn’t be more proud of the talented artists in our after school Mixed Media Art Class. Now that we have the canvas stretched onto the windows, we just need to get the hardware to hang them. So next time you’re in the studio, be sure to get a look at our Windows upgrade. I hope you’re as impressed with the kids’ artwork as we are!
Painting With Scissors
This week in our mixed media art classes we learned about Henri Matisse and how in his later life his art revolved around cutouts which he called “painting with scissors” and “cutting directly into color.” While the colors he used for his cutouts were gouache on white paper, we substituted construction paper as we too painted with our scissors.
We started out with large 6×12″ sheets of colored paper for a background, then, using as many colors as we could, we added squiggles, abstract designs and whatever other elements of interest we could think up.
While we were working, we kept our “scrap” paper in the middle of the table as one artists scrap quickly became another artists treasure as we shared materials and ideas with our classmates. We quickly found certain students were especially skilled at cutting certain shapes and they were eager to cut extras to share with their classmates.
Among the art elements the children learn from this exercise is seeing positive and negative space. When we cut a squiggle out of paper and then cut it again, we create the background and the cutout. The cutout is the positive element. The background, which in other circumstances might be mistaken for scrap paper, can then be glued onto our art to allow the color behind it to show through showing us how we can work with negative space to create design elements in our art.
Many of the cutout works of Matisse were abstract, so there were no rules we had to follow in creating our cutout art. However, one of our prompts was his 1947 cutout, “The Codomas (Les Codomas).”
On first glance it’s not easy to see that there is structure to this one as it can pass for purely abstract. But on closer inspection we see two trapezes (one white and one blue), two yellow squiggles representing the trapeze artists and black squares representing the net below. One of my Monday afternoon students did a very good job of replicating this one in the pink artwork on this page (with purple trapezes and red trapeze artists).
Below are three famous works by Matisse (including the far right of “The Codomas (Les Codomas)” with some of our Wednesday class art underneath. Some of our young artists incorporated markers into their cutout, some created specific images (like the flower on the left) and others enjoyed creating something abstract. Note the negative and positive space used by some students with the inside and outside pieces of swirls. Some students also got creative by adding a three dimension element to their art either folding paper for effect or not entirely gluing their cutouts so some popped off the page.
Celebrate Valentine’s Day this Sunday with your special someone and uncork your creative side. Join us for our BYOB Valentine’s Day Paint & Sip and you and your sweetie will each have beautiful paintings to remember the occasion.
For Valentine’s Day we have an early-bird special at 2pm for $20 per person so you can paint before you go to dinner. For those who want to paint with us at 6pm, it’s $30 per person and we’ll have a complementary glass of wine (21+) and chocolates. Call 251-343-2423 for reservations.
Sunday seating is by reservation only and is limited to the first 14 couples at 2pm and the first 14 couples at 6pm. We are also taking couple reservations for Friday night and Saturday afternoon or evening if you want to start your Valentine’s celebration early.
Paint one of our new Valentine paintings or choose from 100s of paintings in our gallery and lookbooks. Paint your own paintings or let us sketch one design on two canvases for a romantic painting together.
As always you can bring your own food and drinks to enjoy while you paint or order food to be delivered. We provide the wine glasses, openers and fridge. And yes you can bring something other than wine to enjoy while you paint (must be 21+ for adult beverages). Call or Facebook message us to reserve your seats or with any questions.
For those who are new to the BYOB Paint & Sip experience, please allow about 2-3 hours so you can relax, enjoy your food and drink and not feel rushed to complete your painting. If you know your painting choices in advance, you can let us know so we have your canvas sketched when you arrive. If this is a surprise for your date, you are welcome to pick what you want to paint after you arrive.
We had such a fun day today. We walked down Old Shell Road just a block or so from our studio at 15 Upham St. and got to watch the Mystics of Ashland Place parade.
This was hands-down the CUTEST PARADE EVER. And kudos to the parents not only for the great job they did on the floats and costumes, but for many to get into the spirit of things with their own costumes as they pulled the floats in the parade.
We’re so happy to be part of this creative neighborhood full of such great community spirit. The kids in the parade had a blast throwing beads, candy, moon pies and toys as the kids watching the parade scrambled for all the goodies.
It was just adorable! Smiles all around as everyone watching marveled at so many amazing floats and costumes! These pictures are just a few of the fantastic design effort that went into this event.
It’s special days like this that let us know we picked the perfect neighborhood for Paint Party Studios to be a part of.
Kids After School Mixed Media Art Class
We had fun in our Wednesday after school Mixed Media Class this afternoon. We’re painting Mardi Gras masks – they’re drying now and we’ll finish them up with some bling and other fun details next week. The kids did their own mask sketches and then learned about painting with palette knives for the background to give it what we called a “messy” random background. They all had fun personalizing their masks with swirls and feathers. We emphasized how fun it is to make each painting unique.
The class is open to kids ages 6-10 and while we’ve welcomed many new students this month from St. Mary’s and Council Traditional School – we still have a few spots still available so call 251-343-2423 to register. Tuition is $50 per month. For those who have Girl Scouts every other Wednesday, we pro-rate the tuition to accommodate your schedule.
Technique Thursday Evening Class Forming
Parents and older siblings (ages 11+) that are interested in Mixed Media Art – we’re trying to form a Thursday evening class from 5:30-6:30pm for learning about different paint techniques like adding texture to the canvas before painting or using heavy body paints. If you are interested, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to add your name to the list. We’ll let you know when we have enough to start that class.
Class fees will be $50 per month or $15 per session for drop-in. We will be working with smaller canvases and other painting surfaces in order to try some fun experimental techniques and some painting mediums that you may have heard about but aren’t sure how to get started painting with. So if you’re looking for a fun class where we’re always trying something new, give our Technique Thursday class a try to get a sneak peek at how some of those art mediums are used.
Some talented 1st & 2nd grade artists learned how to use palette knives to create an abstract background.
We were excited to have Courtney Wise featured on Mobile’s own Fox10/Studio10 this morning promoting Paint Party Studios and our new Mardi Gras paintings. Check out the segment and give us a call to book your next paint party.
After School Art Classes
We’re having fun this month with our kids classes at schools and here in Midtown at Paint Party Studios. Last week in our after school classes we studied Claude Monet and painted our own version of his “Water Lilies and Japanese Bridge”. We learned that the Japanese garden he painted was on his own estate in France. We also learned about impressionism which translated into kids class means a sortof fuzzy painting. To get a similar effect on our own paintings, we used packing peanuts as our paintbrush. Before we painted, we taped out a bridge and then when the painting was dry and we removed the tape, we had clean white lines for our bridge where the paint didn’t touch the paper. This picture is before we pulled the tape.
This week we welcomed some new students to our Wednesday after school Mixed Media Art Class and had fun learning about Louisiana artist George Rodrigue, famous for his Blue Dog paintings. We looked at some of his original Blue Dog paintings to see how Mr. Rodrigue’s Blue Dog stayed the same but the backgrounds changed. Then step-by-step we drew our own Blue Dogs and added our own fun backgrounds. Things got a little zany when Blue Dog became a mermaid and a disco dancer for some of our creative students! We love it when the kids do their own thing and put their imagination to work to make their drawings and paintings unique!
Two of our young artists had recently visited New Orleans with their family where they had seen a Blue Dog painting on the Sheraton on Canal Street so they had a first-hand idea of what a real Blue Dog painting looked like and could tell the class about it.
Our Monday students also had a fun time customizing their Blue Dog drawings (picture right). As an instructor there’s no better reward than seeing students gain confidence in their ability to do what they previously felt they couldn’t do.
The Monday group is making such great progress, I’m especially proud of the young artist that drew the Blue Dog in the top right corner. He has come such a long way since August with his new confidence in art translating into more confidence in other areas of school and among his peers. He worked very hard on his Blue Dog and was the last one to finish and his attention to detail and hard work really shows in the final product.
We still have a few seats available in our Wednesday afternoon Mixed Media Art Class that meets from 3:30-4:30 at our studio at 15 Upham Street (Upham and Old Shell Rd.). Kids ages 6-10 learn about famous artists and then paint or draw our own versions of great paintings. Call 251-343-2423 to register.
School Art Lesson Paint Parties
Close Up of Sunflower
Van Gogh Sunflowers
Today we had a blast at a paint party with two combined classes of third grade. We learned about Vincent Van Gogh’s Sunflowers Third Version. We painted our own version of a close up of one of the top right sunflowers from the original painting.
The students are studying plants and so we were looking for some art that tied into the curriculum and we’re excited to find something where we could combine art with science. The students had a great time painting with their friends and even though we were all painting the same thing, each painting turned out unique as each child put their own creative twist on it. In fact, one girl raised her hand at the start and asked if they could be creative with their painting and we said ABSOLUTELY we LOVE that!
If you would like Paint Party Studios to visit your school, just give us a call at 251-343-2423. We are happy to work with you to tie the painting into your current curriculum or we can go with something just for fun.
We had 42 young painters today – these are just a few of the finished paintings (too many to fit in one photo), but all the kids did a fantastic job – they even outlined it themselves. Such talented artists!
We had a fantastic December with lots of fun, new Christmas paintings but now it’s January and time to paint some Mardi Gras paintings. We’ve got some brand new Mardi Gras paintings that we’ll be adding to our gallery to go with our long-time Mardi Gras favorites.
Book your paint party to add to your Mardi Gras decorations – follow our lead with one of our gallery images or change it up to make it your own unique painting.
You can choose from our Mardi Gras paintings year-round, but if you want to get one done before Mardi Gras, call us soon to book your paint party because Mardi Gras is early this year (February 9th).
During the month of January we’ll have our Two-for-Tuesdays with kids (ages 6+) welcome between 3pm-5:30pm (to be finished by 7:30pm) and adults welcome anytime from 3pm-8pm (to finish by 11:00pm or so). We strongly recommend reservations as we’ve been having some busy Tuesday nights so call ahead 251-343-2423 to save a seat.
We also keep regular hours on Friday night for Adults only BYOB Paint and Sip from 5:30pm-11pm. This is a good night for small groups or couples looking for a fun and creative date night. It’s usually a little more chill than our Tuesday night party and a good night to come in if you don’t have a group to paint with. We do take walk-ins if seats are available – but we strongly recommend you call ahead for reservations at 251-343-2423. You can pick what you want to paint when you arrive and pay once you’ve decided ($30 for 16×20″ or $25 for 11×14″ canvas) – we accept cash or all major credit cards.
Saturday afternoons from 3pm-6pm are still $20 per canvas family-friendly afternoon paint party. Kids (ages 6+) and adults welcome during those hours – just call for reservations. Kids should arrive between 3-4pm so they can be finished painting by 6pm as after that it’s Adults Only BYOB.
Adults looking for a good deal for a Saturday night Date Night or Girls Night Out should arrive around 5:45pm to get the $20 price and be able to stay for Adults Only BYOB. After 6pm the prices go back to the standard $30 for 16×20″ and $25 for 11×14″. Saturday hours after 6pm are by advance reservation only so call if you’ll be arriving after 6pm.
Tuesdays afternoons-evenings, Friday evenings and Saturday afternoons are the only times we keep regular “retail” hours – all other times are by appointment with advance group reservations.
During the week we host bridal showers, baby showers, girls night out, office parties, business team building events, employee appreciation events, school field trips, after-school art classes, art lessons at schools and many, many more paint party events both in our studio and off-site. Please call us at 251-343-2423 to book your event or to make individual reservations. While we do welcome walk-ins when we are open and have seats available, we do not guarantee any “retail” hours without a reservation so it’s always a good idea to call first before heading to the studio if you don’t already have a reservation.