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‘Paint and sip’ trend combines happy hour with art class


APRIL 2, 2015    LAST UPDATED: THURSDAY, APRIL 2, 2015, 1:21 AM


Capturing the essence of an image by applying paint to canvas often requires a stroke of divine inspiration – like a glass of pinot grigio, or two. Or three. Did someone say four?

Various cheeses help, too. Sliced Swiss, Muenster, sharp cheddar. Bunches of grapes. A blueberry pie. Katy Perry and Robin Thicke playing in the background. Nothing too excessive. Just the essentials any artist needs to bring a new work into the world.

Woodcliff Lake resident Nicollete Cothron exhibits model form in this Thursday night art class at Pinot’s Palette in downtown Ridgewood, one of many such venues in a growing trend that combines the discipline of an art class with the whimsy of happy hour. Her right hand never lets go of her paintbrush, while her left hand never lets go of her wine. “And I never stop talking, either,” she says, flanked by friends all in this together.

As she interchangeably sips and slathers, she follows along with the instructor and makes the beginning midnight-blue background sky that forms the foundation for Vincent Van Gogh’s classic painting “Starry Night.” Assistant instructors patrol the aisles of 50 students this particular sold-out Thursday night, reassuring those who are afraid they have messed up or are using the wrong color.