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The Paint and Sip Phenomenon: What is it and Where Can I Find One?

The process of creating an oil painting on canvas used to be a daunting idea. The process of buying a canvas carefully planning the image you want to create and putting brushes and paint in the mix can be unnerving at best. For any aspiring artist, it’s a huge commitment to get the supplies and put in the time to create a work of art. Along came the paint night. It seems like everyone at least knows someone who has tried it or has even tried it themselves.

Just think, a place where you can create a painting on canvas and all the hard work is taken out of it. The canvases are prepped, the design is chosen for you, and the supplies are all provided along with an instructor to help guide you through the process. It takes all the frustration and anxiety out of creating a painting, well almost all of it.

Our society is now being driven more toward spending our time and money on experiences rather than just buying goods. The paint night experience allows for anyone at any skill level to get out of their comfort zone, try something new and walk away with more than just a painting; They walk away with a story to tell.

The Cost of Paint Night

The cost of an average paint night experience is around $30-$65 depending on the location and the painting that you’ll be working on. This can include refreshments, an instructor, supplies, and the location. If a person were to create a painting on their own it would cost roughly $15 to $20 just for a basic set of paints. The problem with buying paints if you aren’t a full-time artist is that you’re not likely to use every color in the set and will likely have paints that go to waste as they dry out.

An unprepped canvas panel can cost anywhere from $8-$25 depending on the size and quality of the canvas. A brush set to create an oil painting will cost around $20-$50 depending on the quality and quantity of brushes. Serious artists may pay $80 for a single handmade, sable brush (e.g., Rosemary & Co). You would also need to purchase supplies to clean out your brushes and a few other odds and ends to finish creating your painting and take care of all the expensive equipment you now own. At this point, it’s clear that the cost of buying supplies to try and create a painting on your own far exceeds the $30-$45 paint night cost.

At the paint night venue you have everything laid out for you in an environment that is meant for the mess and you have the benefit of an instructor to help you along the way. Don’t forget you have the added bonus of not having a bunch of supplies left over or going to waste.

The Origins of Paint Night

The idea behind social painting classes, often involving imbibing liquid spirits, is rather new, at least as a commercial endeavor. The origins of paint night style classes that are more social than serious started out on the east coast in New York and have filtered across the United States as the idea caught on. There are many different chain style companies that operate paint night gatherings as well as privately run companies. The paint night scene has only really been in Utah for only a few decades. Companies have been popping up in areas where there is a heavy art influence like Salt Lake, Park City and many Utah County cities. Park City is increasing known for hosting wealthy art-loving patrons.

The concept is that if you place 10+ people in a room fill, them with liquid courage and have a competent instructor available they can produce a passable piece of art.

The paint night scene is now gaining traction. With social media exposure the events become more popular and more people participate. The greater the number of customers the less expensive it is to run a paint night. Buying canvases brushes and paints in bulk brings down the cost. And obviously the profit of having a room full of 30 people paying $30 a person to participate trumps the smaller classes. Canvases, paints, and brushes can be pricey but bought in bulk the price comes down the cost of brushes and paints can be spread out over many classes so you have less waste.

Evolution and Revolution of Paint Nights

Paint nights are getting to be so popular that they are tailoring them to different groups. You can find paint nights themed for family friendly, girls night out, date nights and perhaps others.

What if you are more interested in art than the social atmosphere? Let’s face it, there are a lot of aspiring artists out there that could benefit from a paint night experience. It’s possible that attending a paint night could be just the nudge a budding young artist needs. You're in luck, now you don’t have to participate in a paint night in a room full of people who are probably just there to drink wine.

Thanks to growing demand and popularity there are more options and far more locations to enjoy a paint night experience. The added bonus is that if you aren’t interested in drinking while you paint the cost is much lower if you find a paint night group that doesn't provide alcohol. It should also be said that a sober paint night group is also more accepting of younger clientele if there is an interested young artist in your midst.

If You Want to Try It

Nancy Lee Lewis and other artists are now offering up their expertise in a local paint night venue in Utah County. There are lots of fun classes coming up and there will even be themed paintings for upcoming holidays like St. Patrick's Day. The American Fork Arts Institute offers classes at their Art Center, 53 West Main Street American Fork, Ut 84003 (The old Nutall Sewing Center in downtown American Fork). You can register online at The cost is only $30 and all the supplies are included.

Paint Night at American Fork Arts Institute
Paint Night at American Fork Arts Institute
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