I’ve been keeping a cautiously curious eye on Painting With a Twist for well over a year now. Why “cautious”, you ask? As intrigued as I’ve been, I can ruin even the most elementary paint-by-numbers creation. I simply cannot paint… at least not something that’s expected to be recognizable at completion, anyway. Perhaps a very abstract piece, from a very blurry eye. I would watch the monthly calendars get released with the most beautiful paintings on the agenda, but I just knew I couldn’t recreate them. This experience is certainly for semi-skilled artists, at least… right? Wrong!! I finally got up the nerve to try my hand at a masterpiece – Van Gogh style, to be specific.
The entire evening is set to music, as a lively soundtrack fills the room. Songs like “Mambo No. 5”, “Stayin’ Alive”, and “Kokomo” helped to get everyone ready for the party, and occasionally burst into song. I had a fantastic instructor – Alex, who readily encouraged “karaoke” performance, even joining in a time or two. In other words, if you’re as nervous as I was, the atmosphere quickly helps to create a comfort zone.
From a slightly raised platform, instructors display the final product you’re aiming to reproduce, beside an easel that they will be working from. It was described to me as being a lot like “Simon Says”, and I found that to be a very accurate comparison. Every step of the way, you receive direction on the colors, strokes, and brushes (mama, papa, and baby brush, as Alex referred to them – based on size) to use for each part of the process, beginning with laying a complete background.
On this particular night (much to my surprise), paint was not the only medium to come into play. Half of the room seemed a bit intimidated when we learned that we’d be drawing in the outline of our building with chalk. With a few simple lines, Alex demonstrated how the three-dimensional structure came to life against our dusky backdrops.
Around this time, Alex called for a break so that we could stretch our legs and free our minds for a moment. This involved a surprise contest involving “heads or tails” – with a twist, of course. Everyone would either grab their heads, or their “tails”, as Alex flipped a coin. Round by round, players were knocked out of the game for erred guesses, but the last artist standing was gifted with their choice of paintings right off the wall. Nice touch, indeed!
The final touches of the project came along swiftly and smoothly. At this point, everyone’s creations had definitely taken a turn that demonstrated our unique styles and visions. While the end result was essentially the same, we each had a masterpiece that was very much our own.
Painting With a Twist releases calendars to preview the scheduled offerings for each month, along with prices. Two hour classes are $35, and three hour classes are $45. They also offer classes suited for families and couples, as well as “paint your own pet” classes where you provide your own photo to duplicate in paint. Painting With a Twist offers discounts and “free class” prizes through their frequent painter punchcard program, and contests centered around social media. For more information on this fantasically original attraction, located in the Dr. Phillips/ Metrowest area of Orlando, visit Painting With a Twist Orlando on the Web and Facebook. Go with a friend, a group of friends, or even pop in solo and make some new friends, as I did! A fantastic night away from the Orlando “norm”!