Pretend To Be An Artist For A Night

Ok, I promise not to limit my blog to stories about Silo Distillery in Windsor, VT (this will be my second post), but they have a great “events calendar” and I keep being tempted to return. So I did. Tonight. For their Cocktails and Creations class- basically, a drink-and-paint event. I assured everyone, in my loudest voice, that the only paintbrush I had ever held was one that used Benjamin Moore paints to cover a wall in my house. An artist I am not. But, I am game to try new things so I enlisted my BFF, Mary Barr, and off we went, knowing that if the painting was a disaster the food and drink would not be.

Where the Spirits originate
Where the Spirits originate

We stopped next door at The Cheese Board first to sample the wine and cheese selections there and we both picked up a few goodies for the weekend. It’s a great starting point. We were one of the first to arrive at Silo and we ordered up our specialty cocktails at the bar before braving the actual class upstairs. The class included one cocktail and you were free to purchase others if you wanted.  They offered a cucumber vodka and lime cocktail or a lemon gin and cherry cocktail, both served in mason jars. The Cheese Board was also there serving their scrumptious artisan grilled cheese sandwiches as well as a charcuterie and cheese board, both available for purchase.

We headed upstairs with our drinks and grilled cheese and found a room readied with individual paints, canvas, water and brushes. The class was taught by Linda Hammond, an art teacher of 30 years. (Linda also owns and operates North Star Canoe and Kayak Rentals from her home in Cornish, NH). The class held 18 participants, none of whom seemed to have much painting experience, but all willing to give it a good try.

Tables were set up with everything we needed to begin our Picasso moment

Linda had a “barn scene” painting displayed in the front of the class that we were supposed to use as a template for our creativity. She broke down the various steps to tackle the painting and she had enough patience to keep us moving along at a good pace. After all, we had to have this painting completed in the 2 hour time slot allotted and we needed all the encouragement she could muster.  Linda was great about walking around as we individually attempted to recreate each step that she outlined and offering up comments and suggestions-all with a positive slant and no judgement. If her goal was to help us enjoy the process and spark further interest, she succeeded. She seemed to enjoy our differences and deviations from the original painting, and never made you feel like you had failed at the class.

Two finished products

I do recommend taking a class at Silo. The space is great, the owners are very welcoming and the spirits are excellent. I cannot say that I walked away feeling like painting is my forte, but I did have an enjoyable time and I now have a one of a kind barn painting. I am not sure if it will ever be proudly displayed on a wall anywhere, but now I can say I have painted a painting. Maybe I’ll just leave it at that.

Mary and I sat across from Abigail Zsenai of Facials on the Green in Woodstock, VT and after learning more about her business, I am headed there next! So stay tuned for that blog coming soon. 


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