DENVER
05/19/2011 04:29 pm ET | Updated Jul 19, 2011

Canvas & Cocktails: Sip Your Way To A Masterpiece

I welcome 10am on a Saturday with a mimosa in one hand and a paintbrush in the other. Guided by some revamped, Bob Ross-style instruction and encouraged by loud music (and my drink), I am ready to unleash my creativity onto canvas. That's right -- it's “Mimosa Morning” at Cherry Creek’s Canvas and Cocktails.

Open since 2008, this is the brainchild of Brittney Wilson, who pulls together her art experience -- a fine arts degree from Auburn and further education from Lorenzo de Medici School of Art in Florence, Italy -- and social skills to create a fun, upbeat environment open to all level of artists.

And I do mean all levels. Even the novice painter (you know, the one who hasn’t picked up a brush since mandatory art class in seventh grade) can create with confidence here. You pay one price up front, which includes the canvas, acrylic paints, a cluster of brushes and apron, and your first mimosa. It’s meant to loosen up the crowd, and it works.

Today our instructor is Heather, a lively brunette who reassures us that we'll work on today’s painting -- a funky floral piece -- with clear guidance.

“We go through it step by step. I will give a bit of instruction: I’ll tell you what brush to use, what paint we’re going to be mixing -- and then I’ll crank up the music. And during that stint, we’re all going to be working on that step together.”

That doesn’t mean you can’t make your piece unique, however. She offers basic guidelines, but you’re free to incorporate any personal style or flair.

“The great thing is, they’re all going to be different -- that’s kind of the idea,” says Heather. “Our colors are going to be mixed differently, our flowers are all going to be different … Be encouraged in that.”

Heather stands before the class working her own canvas as she leads us through the steps. True to her word, she pumps up the likes of Journey and Bon Jovi -- well-known bands belting choruses that beg us to sing along. (And we do.)

Upon refilling my mimosa, I notice the bartender’s heavy pour of the bubbly, appreciating the correlation between his drink-making skills and my increased artistic genius.

The class lasts a little over two hours, including a small break in the middle to allow a portion of the canvas to dry. Heather wanders through the aisles offering individual assistance where requested and sprinkling words of encouragement as she passes by. Despite the high-energy atmosphere, the experience is quite soothing, even cathartic.

I proudly sign, then carefully balance my still-wet canvas of swirling orange, red and yellow flowers in a funkified multi-colored vase. This masterpiece is my souvenir from the morning… along with potentially a headache later this afternoon.

Check out the online calendar for photos of upcoming paintings.
$25 - $40
249 Clayton St.; 303-333-3288
6853 South York St., Suite 124, Centennial; 303-794-6696