A Dining Divas Day with a Twist

The Dining Divas

By Lisa Kampeter

The Dining Divas mixed things up this month.  Instead of our normal first Thursday of the month dining out extravaganza, we put down our forks and picked up our paintbrushes and discovered our inner da Vincis and Monets.  It was a Sunday afternoon and a great day for Painting with a Twist.

Leaving our inhibitions at home and being open to the idea that we possibly could be creative, the Divas decided to partake in a group painting project.  The Obsessed Diva had participated in this sort of activity a few times before and convinced the ladies that it would be a blast.  After disregarding the “I can’t do it” comments and the “is this paint by numbers” questions, she assured them that they’d be pleased with the results.

The Dining Divas with the creations.

Located in a studio off Olive Road in Creve Coeur, Painting with a Twist is painting for the non-artist.  Although the instructors take their jobs seriously, there’s nothing serious about the sessions, except for your need to have fun, laugh at the process, and leave with a piece of art that you’re amazed you completed.

Using the democratic process, the Dining Divas voted on a painting that we liked and then booked a private party at the studio.  Each student is provided a blank canvas, paint, paintbrushes and step-by-step instructions from a teacher to create our own masterpieces.

I’ve heard “life imitates art”, but I believe “art imitates life”.  First of all, the Intellectual Diva inundated the teacher with many questions.  No surprise there.  The Attention-Deficit Diva’s nerves had her sweating through the process.  Again, no surprise at all.  The Colorful Diva showed up late as usual but got herself caught up and finished on time.  Just like at every other Dining Diva outing.  And the Classy, Stylish Diva’s finished product was perfect.  Of course it was.  We’d expect nothing else.

The Rule-Follower Diva diverted from the original and shocked herself by adding her own personal touches.  The Reassuring Diva outsmarted everyone and personalized her painting for a family member so “they’d have to display it”.  Lucky for them, her’s turned out great.  The Anti-Craft Diva enjoyed herself, but said next time we do a painting project, she’ll go shoe shopping.

It wouldn’t be the Dining Divas if we didn’t enjoy some food too.  We all brought snacks and treats and drinks to share.  Painting with a Twist is a “bring your own beverages” (and food) kind of place.  It makes for a fabulous group outing.  Each month, they post the featured paintings of the days of the month.  You can participate with a couple friends or you can reserve a date on your own and pick out your own painting.  You need a minimum of 10 friends to do this.

Vino Van Gogh is another painting activity offered in the area.  With this program, instead of going to a studio, featured paintings are done at different restaurants all around St. Louis.  It’s the same process, just not a BYOB.  You can order food and drinks at the restaurants while you paint, or you can choose to just focus on the process.  However, a little wine seems to make the paintbrush steadier.  With Vino Van Gogh, you not only get to explore your creative side, you get to try out different restaurants.

Perhaps a couple Divas showed perfection and grace like the famous artist Raphael, but most of our masterpieces would fall in the “Abstract” Era.  Artists are courageous people.  They put their work out there for people to judge, and that takes a lot of guts.  It took a lot of guts for the Divas to try out painting.  Some of us should stick with painting walls in our houses, and some of us should stick to shoe shopping.  But all of us were courageous as well as smart enough to know that the Dining Divas are much better at eating out than at being artists.

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