An Inside Look into Tempe’s Painting with a Twist

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Arts and crafts no longer have to be a distant memory. Painting with a Twist is the bridge between childhood art classes and adult beverages.

Whether someone is a professional artist or has never held a paint brush in their life, this studio welcomes everyone that walks through their door.

“We have had people come in who have never painted a day in their life. As long as they follow the instructions, it turns out! Some of the new painters have really impressed us,” said Karmen Nesbitt, an artist and instructor.

The studio strives to be an escape, somewhere people can come to express themselves and unwind.

“People just have a good time here. Everyone can just relax and paint and have a good time with each other,” said Karmen Nesbitt.

 Customers are welcome to bring a beverage of their choice to accompany the making of their artwork. Most stop by the wine aisle, but some opt for coffee, tea, or water.

“I think it’s so successful because of the uniqueness and being able to do something where you can drink and listen to music. The whole environment allows people to do something creative, which they might not always have the chance to do,” said Stormy Nesbit, the Tempe location’s manager.

Classes are offered every day of the week, which is something that sets them apart from other studios in the area. They also have a broad range of painting options, including seasonal, scenic, bouquets/flowers, and pop culture. If reserved, the design can be customized for special occasions like birthdays, bachelorette parties, and holiday celebrations.

The instructors are there to teach, but they are also there to entertain and make everyone feel welcome. They try to not treat it as a class, but rather as an art party.

“We try to make them feel as comfortable as possible and make the steps easy for them to understand and go along with,” said Jewel Clark, an artist and instructor.

One of the most popular creations comes from the paint your pet class. Once someone signs up for the class, they email a picture of their pet to the studio. After the two-hour long class, they have a customized piece of their pet.

The social, yet relaxing setting keeps bringing people in, and has even become a popular date night spot.  

 “We have a lot of couple’s painting nights. Basically, when they are finished, they can put their art side-by-side and they will connect into one big picture,” Karmen Nesbitt said.

Steven Alvarado and Maegan Hunt attended one of these classes, for their first date.

“I have always wanted to try this place, but I never had anyone to go with. This is actually one of the only places I found that offers weekday classes,” said Alvarado.

According to Clark, it’s not uncommon for people to be uneasy in the beginning of class. Once they embrace the atmosphere, they are able to create something beautiful. Although the class has a step-by-step approach, it still allows people to use their imagination.

“Most peoples’ paintings usually come out better than they expect them to,” said Clark.

Painting with a Twist is the place to go to escape reality, with a paint brush in one hand and a glass of wine in the other.

There are 322 locations across the country, in 39 states. Within those, Painting with a Twist has created over 10 million paintings.

Painting with a Twist has two Arizona locations, one in Tempe and another in Gilbert.

219 E. Baseline Rd #H3 Tempe, AZ 85283

1094 S. Gilbert RD, Suite 106 Gilbert, AZ 85296

For more information on Painting with a Twist:

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