Canvas Roadshow lets artists shine
Friday, January 25, 2013
Paint, sip, relax.
These three simple words perfectly define what a Canvas Roadshow event is all about: a gathering of friends in a pleasant atmosphere while receiving step-by-step instructions on how to create a masterpiece of their own.
Debbie Ellis, of Bedford, attended a similar event in the Boston area last year, and decided she wanted to bring this opportunity to New Hampshire. Ellis majored in marketing and advertising at the University of Connecticut and is a professional photographer, so starting a traveling painting party was a good fit, she said. The Road Show opened last October and offers group classes for beginners and seasoned artists.
“I have a creative background,” Ellis said. “This isn’t about fine art but, learning step-by-step.”
Ellis has three artists on staff who lead the sessions, which range from $35 for a two-hour class, to $45 for a more complex work. Participants work on the same painting. Roadshow’s gallery features 13 paintings, ranging from Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” to Edvard Munch’s “The Scream,” and plans to expand offerings.
Events are held at restaurants, social clubs and private homes. LaBelle Winery in Amherst was recently added as a venue. Roadshow brings all the materials, including easels, brushes, paints and aprons so guests merely have to show up and have fun. Acrylic paints are used because they dry faster and are easier to paint over if the painter makes a mistake. Time to socialize is factored into the class schedule.
“This gives people a little escape from reality, to forget about the stress of life,” Ellis said.
The Canvas Roadshow also accommodates birthday parties, with simpler pieces such as a sock monkey for children and a winter tree for parents.
“They do a smaller, simpler canvas,” Ellis said. “The goal is that they feel a sense of accomplishment and are happy with what they created.”
There is also a special program for couples, where a diptych is created – two complementary halves that form one larger piece.
The Canvas Roadshow opened its doors with a fundraiser for breast cancer in October, and plans to do one fundraiser every month. On Jan. 16 there was a class to benefit Cystic Fibrosis at Hampshire Hills in Milford, featuring Van Gogh’s “Sunflowers.”
Other upcoming shows include one Thursday, Jan. 31, at the Black Forest Cafe in Amherst.
For more information or to register for a class, visit www.thecanvasroadshow.com.