By Katie Lovett
---- — Cocktail parties just got a little more interesting. Or at least they will when Jennifer Clement arrives.
Clement is the owner of The Artist Bar, a traveling cocktail party, or a “paint and sip” party, where participants take an art lesson and are given step-by-step directions on how to create a painting -- all while sipping wine or cocktails. The parties are part of a growing new trend that combines art, creativity, and socialization.
For 2 1/2 hours, participants will sit at an easel, equipped with art supplies, and listen as Clement, an artist, gives them a lesson in their own section of the restaurant.
Clement brings her paint and sip parties to various venues, including private parties and company gatherings around the region, but later this month, you can find her at two local restaurants: The Grog in Newburyport on Jan. 8 and Flatbread Co. in Amesbury on Jan. 16.
“I personally believe every single person is creative in one form or another,” Clement said. “Some are aware of it and just don’t have the time to explore it and some are completely unaware and untapped. Most people come into the evening reserved, telling me they never painted and don’t have a creative bone in their body.”
By the end of the evening, those guests leave with a completed painting and some newfound confidence, she added. Since each party has a different painting, participants can attend several of her sessions and not make the same artwork twice. Each artist creates his or her own painting and works individually on a 16 x 20” canvas.
“For the others who have dabbled in painting, it gives them a chance to be creative without the commitment of buying costly art supplies and committing to sessions of art classes,” Clement said.
While participants can sip on their cocktails as they paint, the class also takes a couple of breaks during the night as their artwork dries to enjoy food and drinks, and to socialize.
For Clement, 53, her new business is a chance to spread her passion with as many people as possible. A painter and art teacher for more than 25 years, she began The Artist Bar two months ago.
“I want to bring art to as many people as possible and I believe with this ‘paint and sip’ concept,” she said. “It is best, due to the guest having a taste of the grape) that I take the party to them, in the comfort and safety of their neighborhood .”
“It’s just a fun, relaxing way to spend an evening and meet new people,” she continued. “Drinking wine and making art -- what’s not to like? The artist in me is saying it’s what I am meant to do.”
IF YOU GO
What: “Paint and Sip” parties by The Artist Bar
When: Jan. 8, 7 p.m., The Grog, Middle St., Newburyport; Jan. 16, 7 p.m., Flatbread Co., Market Square, Amesbury
How: $45 per person, includes all painting supplies. Experience is not necessary. To reserve a seat, visit www.theartistbar.com. Guests should arrive a little early to have time to get settled before the class begins.