Gilding the Lily: Why Painting Parties are Silly


You’ve probably seen them on your Facebook newsfeed. You know, those photos of a gaggle of girls posing with canvases that are of a heart or the outline of a female figure that are all almost identical- and a glass of wine in hand. No, it’s not just by chance that they’ve painted the same thing on canvas whilst sipping on a glass of Cab, they’ve paid to do it.

The newest fad in GNI (Girls Night In) are wine and painting parties. Huh? No, really. These experiences are sold mostly on Groupon or discount sites and promise that for less than fifty dollars- sometimes less depending on where you live and which deal you purchase, you will be given step-by-step instructions by a master painter to create your own work of art.

While I can get behind the idea of actually doing something with your friends instead of slamming bottles of champagne like you’re Diddy (although that sounds like a fun), these really rub me the wrong way. First of all let’s talk about the actual art. It’s not exactly art if you’re doing the modern day equivalent of paint-by-numbers is it? And isn’t art supposed to be about having a point of view about whatever you’re painting? Wouldn’t it be more fun if you were given more options of what to paint or even encouraged to paint abstractly or whatever you wanted? Then you and your friends could talk about what you each painted and why as opposed to mechanically following the same steps and going home with uniform canvases that you could have purchased at Target?

I also feel like these parties slightly enforce female stereotypes. It’s like, “Oh hey ladies, break away from your book club and come enjoy an arts and crafts night.” I don’t see Groupon deals for women to join fantasy football drafts or go to a hockey game. But give them a glass of wine and a paint brush and let them yack with each other for two-and-a-half hours and just do whatever they’re told and they will have a “pretty picture” at the end of it.

We can be far more creative with our GNIs, right gals?

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