Paint Nite: “Art [like travel] enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”

Updated: Jul 16

quote by Thomas Merton

Paint Nite, now YAYMAKER, or sometimes known as Paint and Sip, is a fun, relaxing way to spend a weeknight. It's a trip out of everyday responsibilities. Whether you go alone, with friends or family, or as part of a social or workgroup, you'll be joining like-minded people whose inner artist wants to shine. Spend an evening producing an original painting that somewhat resembles the picture advertised online. There is always, always, room for creative interpretations of the artist's sample painting!

Paint Nite events are usually held at restaurants, wine bars, or art studios. Most apron-clad participants enjoy a snack, glass of wine, or any beverage of their choice while following the host artist who conducts the sessions. Participants are encouraged to come early and dine at the restaurants but no one checks that you patronized the sponsoring location.

The demonstrator starts the group by leading a chorale response of, "I promise NOT my picture to others, say that mine is ugly, give up because I think I messed up, etc." There are no mistakes, everyone and every picture is unique, and color choice is completely up to the participant.

The evening proceeds with step by step directions using only the acrylic colors squirted on your paper plate, three brushes, a stretched canvas frame, an easel and a cup of water for brush washing. Upbeat, sing-a-long music plays and the chatter and laughter begin. After each instruction and modeling, the artist roams the room answering questions an "oohs and aahs" at each station.

Time floats away, wine flows, laughter increases, and masterpieces emerge at each easel. Group, pair, and individual photos are taken afterward to post to a Paint Nite webpage. Our creations are immortalized, or at least digitalized, forever! Then, we take the canvas home to admire and move around the house to see where it looks best. After a while, I admit, my garage became quite a gallery in itself!

Currently, these events have now gone Virtual. Whether you have a group of friends or family or want entertainment and a creative outlet while staying home and staying safe.

Traveling and writing about travel gives me the lens to see just about any event as a traveling experience. Any activity that reminds me of distant places, cultural immersion, or that gives me glimpses into life beyond my own daily bubble stretches my life view. Writing about hometown activities is part of Change Your Scenery...Change Your Life.

Comments on paintings shown:

  • My first piece of foamy sea waves, a mountainous horizon, and wine glasses on a beach took me back to many awesome beach adventures. While trying to focus on learning painting techniques, my memories of Costa Rica, Thailand, Mexico, and Pacific and Atlantic ocean fun-and-frolicking experiences came alive. I heard the crash of the surf and other beachgoers playing; smelled the salted air and grills cooking up picnics; saw the beautiful reflections on the water as the sun moved across the sky from morning to sunset; tasted the gritty sand in my teeth after a good tumble in the waves, and felt the winds or hot -hot sun adding another layer of tan to my skin.

The artistic perspective may have been overlooked in my painting but the fun adventure and smiles of the evening were worth more than "getting it just right!"

  • My four seasons painting reminded me of living year in New England in 3rd grade where each season was very pronounced. As a Southern California girl, the contrasts were powerful. I liked the use of the background colors to present a gallery look of the same tree during each time of the year.

  • My last piece with the tree and the birds is filled with all kinds of adaptations from the original. I tried to copy a bird pattern from my shower curtain to produce something I could hang in my bathroom, but I lost all sense of proportion. I was pulled into viewing the other paintings and being amazed at everyone's creations and adaptations. Oh well, the journey was worth the angst of imperfection!

Now I can add Artist as a new skill to my Writer, Photographer, Teacher, Librarian, Mother, Grandma, Friend status! Being a Lifelong Learner, Adventuress, Traveler, and Travel Blogger is simply my way of pushing past comfortable boundaries and trying new things. “Creativity takes courage,” Henri Matisse.

Note: Now YAYMAKER has Candle, Mosaic, and Terrarium making classes as well. Find one online or in an area near you when we can gather again!


Maria C. Heberling

San Diego, CA 



  • Black Facebook Icon
  • Black Twitter Icon
  • Black Instagram Icon
  • Black YouTube Icon

© 2023 Proudly created with