Paint your own masterpiece

By: Linda Shepard | Rochester Post | Published March 13, 2014


In just a few hours, you can create a wall-worthy addition to your décor, even if you’ve never picked up a paintbrush before.

Local art studios, including Painting With a Twist, Picasso’s Grapevine and the Paint Creek Center for the Arts welcome art novices.

“The key message is anyone can paint,” said Leanna Haun, owner of Picasso’s Grapevine in Clarkston, slated to open this spring. Haun is currently offering home party sessions.

“It is a very step-by-step process,” Haun said. “I have a lot of tips and cheats and stencils to help with proportion, lots of elements, so anyone can do it — for the person who has always thought of painting but never thought they could do it.”

Haun said she aims to deliver quality art to all of her customers, including those with no painting experience.

“I want to task my artists by giving them a more complex selection,” she said. “More of an interior-design style. Something you want to hang up on your wall when you get home.”

Stacy Kania, of Oakland Township, recently hosted a home party for Picasso’s Grapevine.

“It’s a great concept of private painting classes where you can come in as a novice and leave with a beautiful painting on canvas to hang in your home in just one session,” Kania said in an email. 

“These studios are springing up all over the metro Detroit area, and it’s really the hot new thing,” Kania said. “This type of entertainment is very unique and transcends all ages. For adults, the big draw is the party atmosphere. The studio makes a great gathering place for any type of event, from bachelorette party, ladies night out, couples, family time, children’s birthday parties, Girl Scout troops and more.”

Painting With a Twist has several locations in the area, including sites in Rochester Hills, Farmington, Southfield, Shelby Township and Ferndale. The company offers a full roster of classes for adults and children, while welcoming groups and individual painters. 

The studios aim to provide a great place to have fun with friends, meet new friends, relax and discover “your inner artist,” said company officials. All are invited to bring wine or a beverage and complete a work of art in one session.

Paint Creek Center for the Arts in Rochester Hills also invites new artists of all ages to take painting classes and more. 

“There are always students who are brand-new,” said Edward Duff, art school director. “It can be a little intimidating if someone has never worked with painting before. We want people to feel comfortable and learn as they go.”

Duff recommends a classical Alla Prima Still Life Class for beginners.

“It means ‘first attempt,’” he said. “It is a class where students do observational painting, trying to capture the essence of their subject. We strive for starting and finishing a painting in a single class, not laboring over the painting.”

The results deliver an impressionist — but not photo-perfect — effect, Duff said, “capturing the general concepts of what would make the painting work well.” Duff also advised new artist to take a color theory and painting techniques class.

“It is a great chance for a creative outlet,” he said.

For more information about Picasso’s Grapevine, Painting with a Twist and the Paint Creek Center for the Arts, visit, or