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August 1, 2012

Evenings out are rare. Last Saturday, however, date night consisted of wine, tapas, and a painting class at Art on the Brix in downtown Golden, Colorado. So. Much. Fun. The results? Well … see for yourself.

Art on the Brix is co-owned by Alyssa Graves, a friend’s daughter. It’s a terrific space and a clever idea for building community among people with (and without) natural-born artistic talent.

If / when we have a book to sign and read, we hope to host events at Art on the Brix because it’s in a perfect location (in our “hometown”). There is plenty of free parking nearby, and we love to support local biz.

For $50 to Art on the Brix, we got:

  • Our first drink
  • Plenty of snacks
  • Art supplies, including aprons so that we didn’t stain our clothes
  • Art instruction for 3 hours

At least a few other couples were there on dates. Several families took on the challenge of painting their pets, including some neighbors there for a grandson’s birthday party.

It would be a real hoot for a girl’s night out, bridal parties, and gatherings of pet-loving pals. I highly recommend the experience. And, if painting dogs and cats isn’t your thing, Art on the Brix hosts classes for all kinds of paintings — landscapes, still life, etc.

Art on the Brix Paint Your Pet Night

Once we signed up online, we emailed Alyssa the photos from which we planned to work. It was hard to choose, but I went with this one.

best dog blog, champion of my heart, photo of Lilly, a border collie with yellow wildflowers

I dug around for photos of Ginko, but Tom decided to take one himself, which resulted in this hilarious photo of our big boy with his big, honking nose front and center.

best dog blog, champion of my heart, Ginko - lab + greyhound mix

Prior to the Art on the Brix Paint Your Pet Night event, Alyssa sketches the pets onto canvasses.

best dog blog, champion of my heart, Art on the Brix canvas sketch

best dog blog, champion of my heart, Art on the Brix canvas sketch

The classroom was completely full. Most people painted pictures of their dogs. One person painted a horse. One person painted a cat.

best dog blog, champion of my heart, Art on the Brix

best dog blog, champion of my heart, Art on the Brix paint your pet night

Because the eyes and the nose are SO important to a good portrait, that’s where we started.

best dog blog, champion of my heart, Art on the Brix paint your pet night

best dog blog, champion of my heart, Art on the Brix paint your pet night

Mostly black dogs and mostly white dogs are hardest to paint. So, we mixed purple and blue into the black and some blue into the white to (try and) add some depth. We were working with acrylic paints.

I took some liberties with the size of the wild sunflowers. Tom decided that the stark black on white was perfect for his portrait of Ginko. Truly, his painting was one of the BEST of the night.

Mine turned out OK. Not great. I try not to be too sad that Tom is better at everything. While I did minor in art in college, Tom comes from a long line of artists in his family.

best dog blog, champion of my heart, Art on the Brix paint your pet night

best dog blog, champion of my heart, Art on the Brix paint your pet night

best dog blog, champion of my heart, Art on the Brix paint your pet night
Photo credit: Alyssa Graves



Things have been a little complicated / upsetting around here, so this is our only post for the week. We’ll try to get back on a full schedule next week.


About the Author Roxanne Hawn

Trained as a traditional journalist and based in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, USA, I'm a full-time freelance writer for magazines, websites, and private clients. My areas of specialty include everything in the lifestyles arena, including health and home, personal finance and other consumer interests, relationships and trends, people and business profiles ... and, of course, all things pet related.

I don't just love dogs. I need them in my life. Seriously.

  1. Aren’t dogs just so cute and adorable? I have a West Highland Terrier and she keeps me really entertained whenever I come home from work, stressed.

  2. These paintings are amazing! In the fall, when my goldendoodle, Milton, is more full grown, I plan to paint one of him in Dallas. That is such a nice keepsake for years to come and a fantastic price!

  3. That is a terrific idea, and I like your results. Don’t be comparing yourself to another artist–even if he is related to you! Your painting reflects the free spirit of the subject.

  4. What a fun, fun activity! And here when you posted them on FB, I thought you both had sketched and painted them yourselves! 🙂 Great, though, I probably couldn’t even stay in the lines with the paint!

  5. What a wonderful idea for a business to do as an event. I love that she sketched the dogs for you first. And you are both good artists.

  6. what a creative idea — I’l bet the other classes there are equally interesting too. really like the photo of you and Tom with your paintings. here’s wishing you more such happy evenings.

  7. LOVE this idea and absolutely love the way the paintings came out. what a fun way to spend a night, and a great idea.

  8. Both portraits are great. I’m so glad you were able to have such a fun evening. I hope you get another break soon.

  9. I’d already seen your painting of Lily on Facebook (and it is SO pawesome!) but was int’d to see Ginko’s portrait too. It’s fantastic!

    You are both super talented!

  10. Rox,
    I LOVE your painting of Lilly. I hope you will frame it and hang the portrait in a prominent place! It is really, really lovely.
    And, what fun for a night out. Great idea. Wish we had something like that around this parts.

  11. Hi Y’all!

    What fantastic paintings! I should suggest my Humans go all the way to your hometown to do a pet night painting of me!

    This must be “hectic time” for lots of humans. It’s been really, really crazy here too! I don’t know what’s going on but the Humans can’t seem to settle down and stay home with ME! That’s where they belong!

    Hope Lily is having a good day.

    Y’all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

  12. What fun! They both look great. I’ve been to pottery painting studios, but no where that they sketch a photo for you on canvas before you get there. That would be a great help.

  13. Wow! You did really well. Reminds me of my daughter’s recent baby shower where everyone was supposed to paint something on a T-shirt for the baby.

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