It’s hard to stand in an art gallery and not be spellbound by one particular piece. Maybe it’s the sky that’s the right shade of blue, or the grassy field below that somehow keeps thriving the more it’s taken in.
This is the essence of Brush Party Studios. As instructor Anthony Sobrino puts it, it’s about “deflowering” one’s untapped artistic ability and putting it onto a canvas.
“For me, I have two goals for people to have a great time and… for them to leave with a painting that they enjoyed painting,” Sobrino said.
Brush Party is a quaint studio on the corner of Central Avenue in Phoenix. There’s an intimacy upon walking into the studio that’s like no other. To the right, there’s a hanger for smocks, ready at the disposal of the guest. Directly in front is an apple box-type setup with a canvas and materials where Sobrino gives his teachings. The room is set up length-wise with two aisles’ worth of canvases and art materials.
That description alone may have had the artistically declined sprinting for the hills. Needn’t fear, young blood. Brush Party focuses on the cathartic aspect of painting rather than the precision of the brush. Sobrino couldn’t stress enough during the course how important it was to have fun. At one point, most of us were, quite literally, watching paint dry, because we were too busy humming to the tune of “Bohemian Rhapsody” on the overhead speakers.
Another resourceful way Sobrino encourages his guests to have fun is to bring beverages of their choosing. It wasn’t uncommon to be seated next to someone with a bottle of merlot in one hand and a paintbrush in the other. (And, more often than not, their paintings turned out to be the best.)
The only issue I found was the amount of time given to finish a painting. Granted it takes most artists days, months even, to finish a piece, and we were given three hours, it was difficult at times to keep up with instruction and add that extra finesse to my painting.
Nonetheless, Sobrino teaches through visual and is available at the guest’s disposal if they need help. It’s no wonder almost half the group was returning guests. One of the many people I went around and spoke to was a younger gentleman, whose partner and himself were second-timers at Brush Party after having a great experience the first time around. Even people who were first-timers bonded like family, if only for a few hours.
Above all else, I found Brush party to be a great atmosphere for friends, family, and a great place to meet new people. I spent a good half hour just ambling through the aisles, meeting people of all ages and relishing in small conversation.
Brush Party is $44 upfront and $22 with a groupon code that can be found on the website. The event takes place throughout the week and into the following months. Sobrino’s calendar is usually booked months in advance, as seats are limited. Visit brushparty.com for more information.