A Lesson in Trust at a Paint and Sip Class

I resurfaced from my wine fog and leaned back, taking in the painting I’d just completed. It was…good. The skyline wasn’t recognizable as Atlanta and it looked totally different from the instructor’s example, but it was decent, even beautiful. At minimum, it far exceeded my expectations going into the night when I’d anxiously walked into the studio for a wine and painting night.

For years, I’d seen friends post pictures of their “I totally painted this and it doesn’t look awful!” moments at these classes. It was always something that sounded fun in theory, but that for one reason or another I’d never found the time to try it myself. Until my sweet boyfriend got me a gift certificate for Valentine’s Day. Months later, we finally signed up for a class and nervously showed up.

I had two concerns with these classes: 1) The one most people probably have: doubting whether your painting will actually be any good or even look like the thing it’s supposed to, and 2) One that’s probably unique to me: it wouldn’t feel like I’d really painted anything, just colored inside the lines.

The instructor took us through our paintings step by step, giving us directions on how to mix colors and hold the brush to get the intended effect. And at every step, I squinted at my painting, concerned that it didn’t look how it was supposed to. The water was too dark, the lines to stark, the colors not blended properly, and I wanted the sky to be blue like the real Starry Night and it was too purple and, and and…And at every step, the instructor would reassure us not to worry because everything would turn out just fine and we could take care of any mistakes in the next step.

Three hours and a half bottle of wine later, our expert guide had led us step-by-step to completed paintings. Each of them was as different as the signatures on them and they were all pretty good, actually.

The final product

So if you’re thinking about trying one of these classes yourself but have been held back by doubt, I encourage you to set the doubt aside for one night and go for it. And if that sounds too daunting, just remember: wine is encouraged.

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