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Bottles & Brushes with Degas: A Unique Painting Experience

Written by  Sable LeFrere /

Bottles & Brushes at the Degas House | | New Orleans, Louisiana
(InthekNOwla) -- NEW ORLEANS | New Orleans is known for its exceptionally vibrant and lively culture. On any given night, one can experience signature cuisine or hear famous jazz tunes at one of the local bars. There are arrays of things to do.

Celebrating the arts of New Orleans, a new program has joined in on the fun. Debuting in March 2011, Bottles and Brushes with Degas at the Degas House, located on Esplanade Avenue, has made its mark offering patrons a unique “painting and pouring experience.”

Bottles & Brushes at the Degas House | | New Orleans, Louisiana“It is well attended by locals and tourists from all over the United States,” says Deana Palmisano Lejarza, art instructor.

The dual part program is held at the very site the famous French Impressionist Master, Edgar Degas, painted some of his worldly masterpieces. David Villarubia, owner of the Degas House, began Bottles and Brushes with Degas as a way to highlight the historic landmark while helping others seek the artist within.

“He started the program to educate people about Degas’ time here in New Orleans and to offer a unique experience for locals and tourists alike,” says Lejarza.

To kickoff the program, the first session will be held on August 11. Patrons are invited to attend an optional cocktail hour from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

“The guest get to mingle with each other and the art teacher,” says Lejarza.

Once cocktail hour is over, everyone prepares to unleash the creativity that flows within them. The two hour painting session begins and patrons are taught step-by-step how to complete their paintings. At the start of the session, patrons are supplied with canvases, paints, brushes, aprons, pencils, and/or other tools needed. Bottles & Brushes at the Degas House | | New Orleans, Louisiana

“No prior painting or drawing experience is necessary,” says Lejarza. “The person can either use a blank canvas or the instructor supplies a canvas with an outline of the painting on it,” she ended.

From there, Lejarza creates a very hands on experience for her guests.

“I typically give an overview of things we are going to do at the beginning of the session and then as class progresses. I talk about Degas, his time in New Orleans, the house, and painting in general,” says Lejarza.

The guests are also introduced to the canvas being used, the paints used, how to mix the paints, the use of the paintbrushes, and different painting techniques. Lejarza also keeps the floor open for questions throughout the session, as well as paint with the audience to give them a visual element.

Before the newly or experienced painters realize, they have created their own unique masterpiece.

“People are amazed at the end because they actually surprise themselves,” says Lejarza. “It is amazing how each picture will turn out differently,” she ended.
Bottles & Brushes at the Degas House | | New Orleans, Louisiana
Bottles and Brushes is not just limited to the three sessions that are going to be held. The program is accessible to private parties, bridal showers/bachelorette parties, etc. Not to mention, the Degas House is near the French Quarter, creating the ultimate night life experience for guests that choose to go there after.

Bottles and Brushes with Degas also has a few more special projects in the works.

“We are planning an event in October to paint a Degas ballerina on a pumpkin, and in December, we are doing three oyster shell ornaments with Degas-inspired art painted on them,” says Lejarza. “We are also looking forward to offering painting events aimed just at children,” she ended.
Bottles & Brushes at the Degas House | | New Orleans, Louisiana
If you want to try your luck at creating a masterpiece of your own, Bottles and Brushes is the event to attend. You could be one of the twenty sitting in the same room Degas sat in.

The next Bottle and Brushes with Degas will take place on Thursday, August 11. Price is $40 and includes canvas, supplies, instructions, and a beverage. For more information and to reserve your spot, please visit the Degas House website.

Last modified on Thursday, 11 August 2011
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