Monday, January 11, 2016

Cheers to Art

For our birthdays last year, my parents gave Cheers to Art gift certificates to my 9-year-old daughter and me. We finally took the opportunity to paint together over Christmas Break.  Typically, the two Cincinnati studios offer evening and weekend sessions, but I noticed there were Open Studio sessions on their December calendar.  

I made our reservations online, and I learned the seats must be reserved individually when using gift certificates online.  I went ahead and registered for all three seats at once and paid for the three seats with my credit card.  Upon our arrival at the studio, I produced the gift certificates.  The employee kindly asked me to repay for the seats, using the gift certificates and my credit card to cover the small remaining balance.  This was not a big deal to me as I was assured the owner would refund the original amount to my credit card.  With one quick email to Nancy Luensman, the owner of Cheers to Art, the refund posted to my account almost immediately.  This was the only hiccup we encountered throughout the entire experience. 

While I have not yet attended a typical studio session, I was told that generally everyone paints the same painting while instructors guide participants through the processThe painting schedule can be viewed on the studio website.  Since we were not attending a typical session, we were permitted to paint anything during the Open Studio hours.  A few weeks prior to the day we planned to paint, we visited the Cheers to Art website and perused their Gallery (linked to their Facebook page).  With ideas in mind, we arrived just after Open Studio hours began.  We couldn't wait to get started!

After checking in, we were given aprons to wear to protect our clothes.  As we were shown to our seats, the instructor invited us to look at the art hanging on the walls around the studio.  She asked what we wanted to paint and said we could paint something original if we desired.  The canvas, brushes, water, and paper towels were set up at each seat.  There were also stencils available to use.  We retrieved our paint from one of two stations in the large room.  As I mentioned, during a regular session, the instructors walk around the room providing step-by-step instructions.  Since this was Open Studio, the instructors were unable to give detailed instructions, but they visited each table and did their best to help every artist achieve the desired look on his or her canvas. 

  • Paint the background first.
  • Add a little water to the paint on your palette.  The water thins the paint which improves coverage (important when you're painting the entire canvas one color!) 
  • You can not make a mistake when you're painting.  An unintentional stroke or a color that is not quite the shade you imagined only adds to the beauty of your unique piece.
We had a blast at Cheers to Art!  As we were leaving, my girls asked when they could come back again.  I bet I know how they'll be using some of the money they received for Christmas! 

I encourage you to grab someone special or gather a group of friends and schedule a session at Cheers to Art.  This would also be a great way for Girl Scout troops to use some of the money they earn during the Cookie Sale.  You won't be disappointed!

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