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Painting the Town at Tresorie: BYOB Painting Class

Paint the Town is a two hour BYOB painting class hosted by Tresorie Custon Framing and French Mats. At Paint the Town, under the tutelage of an instructor, you casually paint with others while enjoying some alcoholic refreshment, if you so choose. The Digest crew, feeling an artistic spark, gathered at Tresorie and tried our hand at some painting.

Tresorie is a small but cozy space covered wall to wall in frame samples and artwork. Local artists Robert Nardolillo and Joe Velez grace the walls, demonstrating the vast possibilities of the medium. With oil paints, Velez creates incredibly detailed portraits, while Nardolillo uses water colors to paint unique depictions of city landscapes. I found their work very motivating. No way I could match their caliber, but it was just the inspiration I needed to get my creative juices flowing.

There is no need for experience or “talent” when you go to Paint the Town. Heba Elbanna, co-owner of Tresorie, believes everyone has some level of artistic ability and that there are no mistakes in art. I agree with her. We can’t all be pros but we can all enjoy the organic process of creation. It certainly helped that Joe Velez was our instructor.

He broke down the basics for us, like mixing paints (we used acrylic) to get the desired colors and brush stroke techniques. He occasionally offered advice when applicable, but for the most part gave us a long creative leash. What’s cool is that no one’s painting was the same, despite using the same painting as reference. That’s the delight of art. Everyone sees things a little differently, everyone does things a little differently, and therefore, nothing is homogenous and boring.

I think my favorite part of Paint the Town was looking at the other paintings. I was super impressed by everyone’s work. Funny thing was that no one was impressed by their own work. Everyone’s their own worst critic, but Paint the Night certainly proved to me that everyone is capable of creative achievement whether they believe it or not. Paint the Town is a challenging, fun and rewarding experience. You start with nothing and leave with something you can hang up on your wall.

Even if you’re bashful about your work, give this a try: Hang it up neatly, preferably framed and when people come over, don’t tell them you painted it. Tell them you bought it and that it was painted by some prolific painter (make up foreign French name). They will sit and stare at the painting and convince themselves that it is a masterwork at which point they take out a checkbook and fork over their life savings. You’re welcome.

You can make a reservation by calling Tresorie at 201-420-9388. Classes are held Wednesday and Thursday from 7-9 p.m. Large groups of over six people can choose what day they want to paint.