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It’s All Happening: Oct. 2013

Marc and Darlynne Menkin | Downtown News

Paint your own Picasso

When local resident Angela Manning’s friend asked if she wanted to join her for an evening of wine and painting, she quickly turned her down. “I’m one of those people who can only draw stick figures so there was no way I was going to embarrass myself,” Manning said. But that all changed once Angela decided to give in and try it. Now, she’s hooked.

Avid participants at 98 Bottle in Little Italy enjoy a night out with Painting and Vino. (Courtesy Painting & Vino)

Avid participants at 98 Bottle in Little Italy enjoy a night out with Painting and Vino. (Courtesy Painting & Vino)

If you haven’t heard, these Painting and Vino classes are the latest craze across the nation and San Diego is no exception.

“The Painting and Vino instructors have really mastered breaking each painting down step-by-step so that you truly do not need any experience or skill to master what you are being taught,” said Jill Mesaros, owner of 98 Bottles at 2400 Kettner Blvd. in Little Italy.

This fun neighborhood bar has been offering the Painting and Vino classes since spring of 2012 and since then, the event has exploded in popularity. “It’s extremely well received,” Mesaros added. “People love it and many return again and again.” While some people may feel intimidated at first, the instructors are good at getting students to relax and unwind.

“We want this to be a positive, feel good experience so we take it slow,” said Caitlin Henry, the creative services director at Painting and Vino. “The classes are designed so that anyone can do it.” Henry said the San Diego-based company has been offering the classes around San Diego, Orange County and Los Angeles for about a year and a half.

Henry, who is also an artist, pointed out that the classes can be therapeutic, especially after a long, stressful day. “Being able to create something and experience it with perhaps a group of friends while sipping wine is a wonderful way to de-stress after a tough day.”

So who typically is attracted to these events?  “We see it all from couples to girlfriend and family outings. It’s extremely social. It’s basically anyone who wants to have fun and try something different and creative,” Henry says.

Showing off results at Painting & Vino at Jakes on 6th (Courtesy Painting & Vino)

Showing off results at Painting & Vino at Jakes on 6th (Courtesy Painting & Vino)

Jennifer Totah is the assistant manager at Jake’s on 6th Wine Bar, at 3755 Sixth Ave., in Hillcrest. The popular wine bar teamed up with Painting and Vino back in March of 2012 and offers the classes several times a month. The classes are always a hit, Totah said, and they fill up fast. As a matter of fact, she’s taken part in the class three times and loved every minute of it. “I’ve painted flower fields, night skies, waves, even attempted a Picasa,” she said.

As for Angela Manning, she can’t get enough. “I’ll never be Van Gogh but I’m having fun and that’s all that matters,” she said.

That’s the spirit!

For more information on Painting and Vino, visit paintingandvino.com and pick San Diego for a complete list of local venues and class schedules. The classes run $45 per person and include all art supplies. They vary in size depending upon the venue, but can be anywhere from 28 to 55 students.

We want to hear from you – Have you ever noticed those large touring bicycles that are pedal-powered entirely by its riders and steered by a driver? Find one of these fun vehicles that have at least 12 people on board and take a creative photo with two to five people doing a freeze frame dance pose. The most creative picture will win two tickets to the San Diego Zoo plus two tickets to a Saturday public Scavenger Hunt and our Discover Coronado Biking Adventure. Email us your photos at tours@wheretours.com

Marc & Darlynne Menkin are the co-owners of “Where You Want To Be Tours.” Many of their tours and team-building scavenger hunts feature secret Downtown areas. They can be reached at menkin@wheretours.com. For more info about their walking, bicycle and bus tours of San Diego, visit wheretours.com.

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