Chamber News & Views: Laugh, drink, paint to find your inner artist | NevadaAppeal.com

Chamber News & Views: Laugh, drink, paint to find your inner artist

Ronni Hannaman
Three generations enjoy the camaraderie of painting together. From far left: Grandmother/mother Kathy McDuffie of Minden; granddaughters Maddy McDuffie of Gardnerville and Megan Dube of Minden; daughters Shauna Willette and Casey Dube of Minden.
Ronni Hannaman |

Picking up a paintbrush to create a “masterpiece” could be a daunting experience, but not if you get into a party mood, have a glass of wine and bring along family and friends.

That’s the concept behind the fast-growing paint and sip studio franchises sprouting across the country and in Northern Nevada. First introduced to Reno by Alissa Woods under the Picasso and Wine name five years ago, this family business project became so successful several art entrepreneurs have opened studios in Carson City and Carson Valley. One of those is Diana Basche who opened the very successful Mona Lisa and Wine studio at 3821 S. Carson St., two years ago.

Basche, however, is handing over her paintbrush to Alissa Woods who will rename the business to Picasso and Wine sometime in July adding a fourth location to the two she operates in Reno and the one she will soon open in Sparks.

Both Woods and Basche love the party atmosphere to be found at their studios. “It’s like having good friends over!” Both agree they are not promising a class in the fine points of painting, but have seen their repeat customers grow artistically as their confidence grows. “It’s a painting party,” asserts Woods with an emphasis on the word party.

What may have started as a way for women to meet their friends to relax and enjoy some creative time together is now attracting more and more males. Woods states, “Men are blown away by the experience, they become challenged by the process and soon become repeat customers.” The opportunity to have a drink adds to the attraction, she added. She is proud that “one of the outcomes of creating a painting is the new-found respect for true artists and the masters,” adding most of the known master painters were men.

Children, too, love coming to the studio to create their own masterpieces. Basche, a teacher, tells us, “Children are no longer exposed to this type of art once they leave elementary school and coming to a painting party with their family or contemporaries gives them a fun way to express themselves artistically.” During the summer, children’s painting parties are popular and there is talk of creating a Kids Artist Camp this summer.

Woods and her sister and mother collaborated to open their first studio in December of 2015, though they were told, “do not quit your day job.” So successful is this venture, Woods quit her day job and the business continues to grow and expand.

Book clubs can enjoy a painting session at the end of their reading. Staff artists- like the very engaging Katharyn Kurek – can create themes to coincide with the plot. Birthday parties are always fun – no matter the age.

Basche decided to sell her thriving business to Woods because of their excellent reputation and will be going on to other ventures. Weekends just got a bit more creative to allow your inner artist to soar. Make a reservation to paint, sip, and enjoy!

For more information, 775- 888-9202 or http://www.monalisaandwine.com.