Sunsets? Let’s paint them!


Recently, my friend Lauren asked me to take a “Wine and Painting” class with her at Urban Arts at Monroe in Hoboken, NJ. She’s a very talented painter of sunsets and wanted to broaden her horizons – literally. I am a lover of all things craft and wine related so I said “yes” without a second thought.

The adventure finding the art studio was a small one. Just know that it’s ok to go in unmarked doors. The building is just under construction. Don’t be scared. Everyone is super friendly. Just go right in!

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The classroom was reminiscent of my high school art classes. Metal furniture, huge windows that let in great painting light and paint spattered everything. It only adds to the charm.

We get to class, toss on perfectly paint splattered smocks and tone our canvas with a solid color of our choice.

Then we are offered wine. Lauren makes a joke about filling up multiple glasses. I think it’s a good idea and not a joke…However, once we start painting, the wine becomes an after thought. So much so, it was used as a water cup by mistake.

The class started with the instructors, Justine and Patricia, sharing some knowledge on color theory. Even if you already have knowledge of the color wheel and primary and secondary colors, it was still interesting to hear it explained from someone else’s perspective.

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The hardest part of painting on demand is the idea. A smarter person would have come with some ideas, but I like to think I’m “more creative” than that (and not just a procrastinator). I sat there and stared at my mustard yellow canvas. My only real goal in the class was to challenge myself to do something completely different then I would normally choose to do. So – no beaches, no dark foreground. I had to include something real. And no happy sky.

Then I thought of the amazing storm that I saw when the HB and I were in Iceland….that would be my inspiration.


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We layered on new colors, dry brushed it off, added more water, added new colors. Everyone else in the class seemed to be having a good time as well. The next thing I knew, I spent the entire class on just the sky of my painting. Slowly, the other students trickled out. THEN… there were two.

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We felt like we were holding the teachers up, but every time we would hang up our finished work, they would say “but what if you….” And we would rush to take it down and fix it. They were always right!

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Brian saw my painting finished when it was sitting in our kitchen the next day to dry. He texted me, “Your painting is beautiful! It’s Iceland!” So thank you Justine and Patricia!!

Before we left that night, we got a quick tour of the rest of their space on the way out. They do wonderful classes with people of all ages and skill levels. So if you’re near Hoboken, NJ and are looking to paint, Urban Arts at Monroe comes highly recommended from us!

You can check out all of Lauren’s art in her brand new etsy store, laurenRstudio. Support the locals!