Chardonnay meets Monet

By on December 17, 2014

Perhaps you are feeling in a rut, constantly doing the same things week after week with your friends or family. Sick and tired of the same night out — movies, bars and restaurants? Now, Lititz has the chance to interact and let out creative energy a little differently. Add some color to the dullness of winter with a new, artistic outlet in town.

 

Art and a Bottle

“Don’t put your paint brush in your wine,” warned painting instructor Emily Alvarez of Lancaster at Art and a Bottle on Wednesday, Dec. 10.

Art and a Bottle opened in the beginning of November, and they are the only art studio in Lancaster County dedicated to social, BYOB painting classes.

No painting experience is necessary, and they have weekly classes and themed private parties available for booking. The studio was opened by Jonathan and Joelle Lauchner.

“My wife and I had gone to a few and it just kinda stuck with us,” said Jonathan. “We really enjoyed the concept of opening up something that lets everyone be creative.”

So, not artists themselves, they commissioned local artists to create paintings for the class. They currently have a collection of 60 paintings that can be recreated in the two-hour time frame that is allotted per class.

“What we focused on is, we want the painting to be at the quality that someone would want to hang it on their wall,” said Jonathan.

They received a lot of input from the artists to make sure each painting created would be achievable by someone with no painting experience.

On Dec. 10, the theme of the painting was “Cheers,” and participants were each recreating a painting of wine glasses clinking together. Everyone who signs up for a class is invited to bring their own food and drinks, and everything else is provided by the studio. On this night in particular, it was a female-dominated attendance, complete with bottles of wine.

While Jonathan has noticed that 90 percent of their customer base has been female, they do get guys who come in, either in groups or on dates.

Arriving at the studio, attendees can place their belongings in a cubby, and an apron is provided to protect their clothing from paint stains.

On this particular night, the studio set up a wine glass full of Skittles, and whoever guessed closest to the amount of Skittles in the glass got to take home a painting of their choice.

Emily Alvarez instructed the class Lenay attended in recreating their own version of a painting of two wine glasses clinking together — an appropriate subject for Lancaster County’s only BYOB art studio.

Emily Alvarez instructed the class Lenay attended in recreating
their own version of a painting of two wine glasses clinking
together — an appropriate subject for Lancaster County’s only BYOB art studio.

Alvarez was instructing, but the painting instructors rotate each week, as do the paintings. The class started with her explaining the paint brushes, and then sketching the images first. Stencils were provided for those who weren’t confident enough to freehand the wine glasses. Once the sketch was complete, it was time to paint the background. As Alvarez guided the painters through the steps, there were breaks for the paint to dry and wine glasses to be filled. Lots of laughter and unsure glances at each other’s paintings were exchanged.

Mollie Musser of Lancaster was a first-time participant of the class. Her aunt had come before and signed them up. She was there with her sister-in-law, Aileen Chamberlain of Mount Joy who was the winner of the Skittles contest and picked a “Starry Night” painting done by a local artist.

There was a good mixture of returning customers and new painters, and as the class winded down, many people were quick to sign up for another class. Jonathan, who works the studio while his wife works as an Internal Medicine Physician at Reading Hospital, is easy to talk to and is friendly with the customers. Discussion on the class being beneficial to Alzheimer’s patients came up. Some of the art instructors, including Alvarez, are also art therapists.

An ice princess painting on the wall hangs as a reminder that they also do private painting parties for children too. Of course the atmosphere of the BYOB changes to juice boxes, as you do still have to be 21 to consume alcohol in the studio. So far they have done about five private parties including bachelorette, holiday and ladies night parties.

Although following the same step by step instructions, the most impressive part of taking a painting class like this is that everyone’s painting still somehow comes out different. Although creating the same image, each person’s personality shines through in their work. Everyone gets to take their own painting home. At the end of the class, Jonathan takes a picture of everyone with their painting to show this uniqueness.

Of course, bringing a beverage of choice makes it more interesting. So far, it hasn’t gotten interesting in a bad way.

“I’ve had a few get buzzed, but no one going over the edge,” said Jonathan.

Art and a Bottle offers loyalty cards, and after attending seven classes, you get an eighth one free. If you check yourself in at the studio on a social media platform while you are there, you get an extra stamp on your loyalty card. Each class is $35, and although it is best to reserve a spot, you can always show up and see if there is room for you.

Check out the list of upcoming classes, and don’t forget to BYOB! Visit their website at artandabottle.com to see images of the upcoming paintings.

Art and a Bottle is located at 1180 Erbs Quarry Road, Suite 4, in Lititz. They can be reach at 824-3191 or info@artandabottle.com.

Even though everyone in the class is recreating the same original painting, each new work showcases bit of the individual artist’s personality. (Photos by Lenay Ruhl)

Even though everyone in the class is recreating the same original painting, each new work showcases
bit of the individual artist’s personality. (Photos by Lenay Ruhl)

 

December Painting Classes

Wed. Dec. 17: 6 p.m. Poinsettias

Fri. Dec. 19: 7 p.m. The Scream

Sat. Dec. 20: 1 p.m. Santa Claus (all-age class)

Sun. Dec. 21: 2 p.m. Moonlight Snow

Fri. Dec. 26: 7 p.m. Lilly

Mon. Dec. 29: 1 p.m. Snowman (for the kids)

Tues. 30: 1 p.m. Ice Princess (for the kids)

Lenay Ruhl is a correspondent for the Lititz Record Express and Ephrata Review. She welcomes your comments and questions at lenay.ruhl@gmail.com.

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