Progress, and Dust

Right outside our front gallery window, in the lot north of our building, are skid loaders, tractors, trucks, and other bulldozing, earth-moving equipment. Aksarben Village is transforming…again! What fun it’s been to watch the area grow up as our own business has evolved.

Here we are, in our 5th year of business, and we’ve seen several buildings erected in Aksarben Village: Gordmans, Pacific Life, DJ’s Dugout, Residence Inn Hotel, the Tetrad building, CUE apartments, and the Broadmoor Apartment Villas. Oh yeah…almost forgot about the Baxter Arena to the south. Wow…that is A LOT in that short time, and it’s been super exciting. Now HDR, and a parking garage will create momentum for that huge empty lot and it will be fascinating to see how that evolves.

In the meantime–yeah, there’s lots of dust, but it’s a small price to pay for progress!


Best. Date. Night. EVER.

So, Valentine’s Day is a big event around Village Canvas and Cabernet. Whether we have groups of friends doing “anti-Valentine’s” outings, and just spending quality time together, or couples making it a special event–we remain quite busy for the week before and after February 14th.

Three years ago, we decided to try something a little different. Sure, we could do a diptych painting, but we do those all year round…we wanted something original, something unique, something that no one else in town is doing. We came up with Paint Your Date.

Our Paint Your Date event includes a bottle of wine, appetizers and a pre-sketched canvas using the cubism style. So, basically, one side of the face is looking sideways, and the other is looking straight on. It’s very clever, and LOTS of fun to paint! It’s definitely not serious, but its definitely special.

We are holding two events this year (like last year), and anticipate both nights to sell out. The cost is $100 per couple.  Seats are limited, but still available. Hurry so you don’t get shut out!

Happy New Year

We are already half-way through the month of January, 2016. The holidays seems like AGES ago, and winter has taken hold. Personally, I love this time of year. I (for whatever reason) enjoy the crisp cold weather. It makes the gallery seem extra cozy, especially if it happens to be snowing outside.

I didn’t anticipate the “seasonality” of the paint and sip business to the extent it is, but fall/winter/spring is definitely the time we are busiest. During the summer months, there are just too many activities that compete–concerts, picnics, bike riding, vacations–and more. Who wouldn’t rather be outside–at least until it gets brutally hot?

Therefore, I work more during the cold months, and cherish the quiet of the gallery when I arrive every day; anticipating the good cheer of my guests who will arrive to paint, sip, laugh and enjoy some creative time with friends, family and co-workers.

Happy New Year!

Never Say Never

Recently, we started offering wooden cut out shapes to paint for door hangers….after I have been saying for three years that I would “never”. Many people asked why we didn’t –and my answer–they tipped a little too much into the “craft” arena. I wanted to stay as consistent as possible with canvas paintings.

However, the requests didn’t stop–as a matter of fact–they only increased, and I buckled under the pressure. After chatting with an artist friend who used to have a studio at the Hot Shops Art Center, he agreed to cut some prototypes to see how well they were received.

Guess what? The sessions have been enormously popular! I’m happy to say I was wr..wr..wrong. Moral of the story–never say never!

Uniquely Yours

“I can’t even draw a stick figure”; “I’m not creative”; “I don’t have an artistic bone in my body”, say anxious guests as they enter our gallery. Why the angst, I wonder, when this is supposed to be a fun activity?

What I’ve observed–guests who can let go of their inhibitions and self-judgment have a better time during the session. Our artists repeatedly announce: don’t try to make it perfect; don’t compare your painting to your neighbor’s painting; this is not a photograph, etc.

Just like handwriting, we all have our unique style of painting. Yours WON’T look like your neighbor–and that is okay. As a matter of fact, that is better than okay–because its yours.