A Bottle & Bottega night in the South Loop

A Bottle & Bottega night in the South Loop

So here's the result of my night at Bottle & Bottega.  Right here.  An abstract skyline.  I painted it within two hours last night, while sipping an inexpensive  Syrah from Trader Joe's and munching on a few things from Crave, which delivered some stuff from across the street.

Bottle & Bottega is a place at Roosevelt and Michigan that I've always wanted to visit in the South Loop.  I'd heard that it was a place where you go and drink wine and paint.  And the paintings turn out great.  (And by the way, when I was a little girl, my father owned a small building and ran a bike business at the exact spot  that Bottle & Bottega is now.)

Bottle & Bottega hosts bachelorette parties with nude models, among other things.  But that sure isn't why I've always wanted to go.  I wanted to go to uncork my inner artist.  (And by the way, a "bottega" is an artist's salon; a "bodega" is a winery--or a convenience store--depending on who you ask.  Yes, I was a little confused by the similarity in the words.)

So I was quite pleased when the Greater South Loop Association decided to have a neighborhood night out at Bottle & Bottega.   And I got my chance to experience it first hand--with a paintbrush in it.

When you arrive, there are a few minutes of just wine and snacks.  Then everyone sits down at a table with a canvas, a palette of pre-selected acrylic paint, three brushes, a cup of cleaning water and a rag.  Oh, and a pencil to get you going.  You sketch out what you want to do.

I chose to do one of the two pre-selected choices that the people who work there will walk you through, from start to finish.  Or you can do something of your own creation.

First I did a pencil sketch on the canvas.  Very hard for me to draw a straight line, but the lines got straighter when I did the actual painting for some reason.

And so it went.  Our instructor teaching us what to paint when.  How to mix the colors, layer the colors, and paint the colors on the canvas.  And of course, what brush to use when.  That's all there is to it.

When you're done, the employees clean up.  Although you have to wash your own hands.

And there you have it.  Between 6:30 and 8:30 PM last night, I painted an abstract skyline.

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