Lifestyle & Culture

Wining, Dining, and Painting – The Pinot & Picasso Experience

Wining, dining, and painting is the newest date-night craze. Bri Porter reveals why the ‘Pinot and Picasso’ experience is so delightful.

Picture this; you are sitting in a brightly lit room filled with fluorescent colours streamlining around the walls. There is laughter circling the venue and smiles are from ear to ear in every direction you see. A clean apron sits firmly on your waist. In front of you sits a blank canvas on an easel of your own; a clean slate in which you are able to create a work of art that you pour your heart into. In one hand, a paintbrush ready and waiting to help you design the artwork being shown to you step by step by the experienced artist at the front of the room; in the other, a glass of your favourite Pinot Grigio motivating your imagination to create the most beautiful painting you’ve ever done.

Bri Porter

If you asked anyone if I was a fantastic artist, they’d laugh and say, “You’re joking right?!”. However, it was my turn to plan the next date night, and I thought ‘What better way to sweep a girl off her feet than one at Pinot & Picasso?’. I didn’t know what to expect as it was my first time, but I’m always open to new experiences. As soon as I entered the room, I was greeted with smiling faces from the hosts to seat and accommodate my partner and I. Around us were tables of unfamiliar yet eager faces scanning the room in anticipation whilst pouring their drinks and introducing themselves to one another.

The team at Pinot & Picasso will already have everything set up for you. Thankfully, you do not need to worry about bringing anything but your beloved choice of alcohol. Do not be fooled by the branding; if Pinot isn’t your drink of choice, feel free to pick your own poison. Whether that be tequila or lemonade, anything is welcome. There’s also the option of pre-ordering large grazing board to devour between the group (or on your own if you’re extra hungry!) or BYO food of choice. I decided to get the grazing board for my partner and I and it was divine. It had all the delicious snacks we could want from cheeses, doughnuts, fruits, and tasty little desserts.

Pinot & Picasso is a painting experience unlike any other. Opening their first studio in Penrith in 2018, Pinot & Picasso has successfully turned into a national brand with over 25 studios in Australia. With Newcastle and the Maitland studio as the local options for students at the University of Newcastle.

Creative co-ordinator of Pinot & Picasso, Nina Carrasco, discusses the inspiration behind the franchise.

Pinot & Picasso came about when two friends noticed there was a gap in the market of entertainment for adults. Besides dinner and drinks, or seeing a movie, there wasn’t an awful lot out there for adults to do on a night out,” said Carrasco.

Pinot & Picasso forces you to jump out of your comfort zone. It is an immersing experience, allowing you to bond with the person or group of people you’ve come with, or if you decide to venture out on your own, you are guaranteed to make some new friends along the way. Finally, you leave with your very own personalised masterpiece to remind you of the evening. For me, it was a breath of fresh air as it was something I had never done before, nor would I have ever thought to.

The most important aspect Carrasco wants people to take away from their experience at Pinot & Picasso is enjoyment.

“We want people to walk away from their sessions having had a relaxing and entertaining night,” said Carrasco.

Bri and her partner Mikhaila at Pinot & Picasso

Pinot & Picasso is for all skill levels. Whether it’s your first time picking up a paintbrush, or you’re just as skilled as Picasso, this event caters for all. Before this experience, the closest skillset I had to painting was a compulsory year seven art class. I’ll be honest, the artworks I made during that time were definitely not something to brag about. After one class at Pinot & Picasso, I felt more confident in my art skills – or did I just get better at my people skills in persuading the artist to help me?

One of the wonderful aspects about this experience is people don’t need to strictly follow the artist’s directions at the front of the room. It’s interesting to see where your creativity can take you. You never know, you may just discover that you actually are the next Picasso.

“We are in no means a strict art class, instead allowing people to let both their creative juices and good drinks flow,” said Carrasco.

Each session has a different painting to learn that you can choose when booking. The perks of the abstract painting session that I chose is no matter how horrible the painting turns out; I can always blame it on the abstractness to impress the girlfriend.

What drives Carrasco is witnessing the happiness it creates for people, even if it’s just temporarily.

“It’s seeing people every weekend across the country trying this experience and walking out with a smile on their face,” she said.

To end our conversation, Carrasco left me with a final quote which really encompasses what Pinot and Picasso is all about:

“Life is chaotic and incredibly unprecedented, so for us to be able to provide a service that distracts from this for even a few hours is something truly special.”

Picture this; you have sat in a brightly lit room and created a masterpiece on your canvas. You stand back to marvel at what you have painted, and you cannot believe the beautiful artwork you have produced. You find the talent you never knew you possessed, and you discover a newfound appreciation for the artists of this world. All the colours of the rainbow are splattered over your apron and on your hands. You have made connections with people you never thought you would meet and uncovered a level self confidence in yourself on your journey as well. You feel the warm buzz of the Pinot Grigio racing through you as you smile and say to your new friends ‘I can’t believe what a fantastic experience this has been. I cannot wait to do this again.’

Bri and Mikhaila with their finished artworks

Feature Image: Alice Kjoller, Yak Media Designer

All Other Images: Bri Porter, Yak Media Writer

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