Canvas & Cabernet…or biodynamic wines CAN get you hung over.

Last night, FFF had its first ever Art & Wine Festival. Well, we actually just drank wine while painting at the super fun Canvas & Cabernet art studio. It was really fun and a way to connect with friends that was totally new to me. 4 of the Lady-Crew and 1 of the Dude-Crew joined us to drink and paint.


It’s a really cool concept and it works like this. You pay a fee for the evening’s class and all the materials required to create your painting are included. You buy whatever wine or beer you want from the bar.

We had a bottle of Benziger Cabernet. I liked it (maybe didn’t love it but I drank enough of it to be extra sure either way). It turns out that even biodynamically produced wines can leave you hung over. Go figure.

Last night’s class was Van Gogh’s Starry Night. I’m no art historian but this is a recognizable enough painting that even I knew what I was trying to achieve. 

Once the wine was flowing and the music was pumping, Julee (the Queen of Canvas & Cabernet) took the stage and gave us very simple step-by-step instructions on how to create our own Van Goghian masterpieces. Follow along at home if you’d like!

Step 1: Using the “big brush” fill the entire canvas with dark blue paint. Easy enough, right? Oh, and don’t forget the edges…if you like. It’s “artist’s choice” afterall so you also just paint a big smiley face and be finished for the night. Whatever the artist prefers.

Step 2: Paint some big black waves along the bottom 1/4 of the canvas (I went a little beyond the bottom 1/4 and wished I’d followed that direction more closely – I ended up with a LOT of black)

Step 3: Sweep the black paint down toward the base of the canvas.


Step 4: Paint 2 big swirls from the left side of the canvas – toward the center. Again “artist’s choice” so go for it…using light blue paint.

Step 5: Highlight the tops of your waves with light blue paint.


Steps 6-8: Add the stars in light yellow. The one on the far right is the largest. Add a “crescent” shape inside the largest one (just looked like a C on mine) and dot some orange inside the rest. Highlight all the last few items with random dashes of white (using the “baby brush”).



Step 9: More dots highlighting the large elements. This time in light yellow, followed by orange. Baby brush.



Step 10: Add a light blue moon above the second wave from the left. “Round brush.”



Step 11: Add the “large dark figure, cypress tree or whatever that big dark thing is” on the left side of your waves. Mine started out looking like a hitch-hiking ghost.


Steps 12-13: In my case, step 12 involved getting some personal instruction from Julee about the shape of the dark thing. She showed me how she normally forms that figure and I tried to follow. I also added a little light blue highlighting to make it less scary. Then we signed our paintings. I went with the classic dramatized T. I thought about adding “Yo!” but decided that wasn’t in the spirit of Van Gogh. Although, “Van Gogh YO!” sounds kinda fun, right?



Definitely check out this very cool spot here in Walnut Creek. The staff was incredibly helpful, the gift shop is stocked with quirky cuteness and painting and drinking are really enjoyable things to do. Check, check, check!



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