A different type of night out with some colleagues brought me to The Paint Bar in Newton.  I was a little skeptical to be honest.  When the event was put together I thought… “I am appalling at any type of art, why one earth would I want to embarrass myself in front of colleagues and strangers with my lack of artistic ability?”  Once I was told I could also drink wine, I was in.

The Paint Bar in Newton was one of the first and now there are a number of these new and different event places that mingles fun and art while having a glass of wine and perhaps leaving with a masterpiece.

van gogh

Van Gogh’s Irises

Going in I still had absolutely no idea what to expect and was a little nervous.  Located on Washington Street in Newton this little shop fronted space opens into a large open studio with rows of tables set up with small easels and a little, very well stocked wine bar in the center.

Our group of nine were the last to join the other wannabe painters already there and were seated towards the back in front smallish canvasses with a selection of paint brushes ready to be used.

The host and obvious from the artwork around the walls, talented artist, Jackie was a funny and very engaging, entertaining teacher.  When she first showed us what we were going to paint I almost ran back out the door but I had already ordered a glass of wine so thought I would stay a while.  Either way, whatever I created, it was going to be a giggle.  Perhaps not to Van Gogh himself :).


The Paint Bar Studio

Jackie talked us through the process step by detailed step of how to recreate Van Gogh’s Irises.  Her easy going teaching style even made learning about the different brushes fun – as simple as Big Brush, Medium Brush, Baby Brush etc. and that is exactly how simple her instructions were to do the painting itself.  

Soon after we were all painting our backgrounds of Van Gogh’s Irises while laughing and chatting and checking out each other’s recreations.  This was all done to pop, sing-along music.


My Van Gogh’s Irises

During a short break to let the paintings dry a little, we enjoyed some order-in pizza and watched Jackie’s mother doing Gangun Style (seriously) down the center of the studio along with some other painters.  This all added to the fun of the evening. 


Our many recreations of Van Gogh’s Irises

We started with the foreground of stems and flowers. Finishing detailed touches ended our individual recreations, which we held up and showcased to the room.

The Paint Bar is a brilliant evening for a birthday, work outing, friend’s night out or even a date.  I honestly believe you need no skill whatsoever, I certainly do not, or you can have some sort of artistic ability and will still have a good time.


I have  to say, I had an absolute blast, felt no embarrassment or shame about my abilities and am even a little proud of my artwork.  Who knew I could paint.  It’s no sellable masterpiece but it is my first masterpiece and will likely have pride of place somewhere in my office or home where I can say to people… “I painted that!”