Back in the day, I immensely enjoyed painting – you know, when the supplies, instruction and studio space were provided by school.
We dabbled in procuring some painting supplies a few years ago, and my wife actually completed her canvas, whereas mine remains an unfinished masterpiece gathering dust in our storage facility.
And since Surge’s Oct. 18 cover story about the emergence of paint-and-sip (adult beverages) art studios along the Grand Strand, I’ve been trying to arrange a date night with my wife to go get our inner Picassos (and Paul Massons ) on at Paint & Unwined in Murrells Inlet.
The opportunity presented itself last week with that fabricated Hallmark Holiday that everyone foams at the mouth over.
I secured a babysitter first, and began my search for a Valentine’s Day date option – I really didn’t want to do dinner, but was leaning in that direction until I found that Paint & Unwined was hosting a couples night session on Friday (Feb. 15) - a day after V-Day, but no biggie.
So I registered online and tried to keep it a secret from my wife, but when I started telling her what she needed to wear (I was advised not to don long sleeves), I could sense that she really wanted to know what was going down, so I caved and told her Friday afternoon.
It was a mad dash to get home from work, get things squared away for the little ones, instruct the baby sitter, pack some snacks (Paint & Unwined serves wine and beer but not munchies), allow the wife time to primp, and race off to our painting adventure which started at 6:30 p.m., although you’re supposed to get there early to set up your station.
Full disclosure here – I know the owners of Paint & Unwined, but that’s not why we did a cover story featuring the business back in October, it’s because the business model is a national trend that’s trickled down to our lovely seaside hamlet, as evidenced by other similar ventures opening in the Myrtle Beach area, including Wine and Design on the north end. I expressed this concern to my boss back when I first formulated the paint-and-sip cover story idea, and she said, "you can't help that you know people."
That relationship did, however, play into choosing to patronize Paint & Unwined for our Valentine’s Day celebration as we try to support locally-based entrepreneurs when we can – and I knew it would be a comfortable environment for my wife and me.
Friday afternoon, Paint & Unwined co-owner Chris Broome texted me and asked if I had any old sheet music I could bring for the night’s project. I quickly rummaged around our piano bench, which belonged to my wife’s paternal grandmother, and couldn’t find anything, then a light bulb went off. I went to the garage in search of a box of books that used to belong to my paternal grandmother, who was a part-time piano teacher. And bingo, I unearthed a stack of sheet music, some of it so old and weathered, the pages broke off to the touch.
I am so glad that he asked me to bring this stuff, because it lent a really cool depth and meaning to our work as we used it as background for our painting ala decoupage.
The project for the night involved each couple painting one-half of an angel-winged heart laid on top of the decoupage background, which we Jackson Pollacked (I made up a verb)– and when you put them together, they make one piece. Awww, ain’t that sweet?
Here’s what our finished product looks like:
The hour-and-a-half instruction time flew by – in fact, we were done at a little past 8 p.m. so we headed over to one of our old haunts from the days of yore – the bar at TGI Friday’s outside Inlet Square Mall– where my wife had her favorite house margarita and I had some sort of new craft beer with a number in it - sorry, I tried quickly to look it up but couldn't find anything. (I'll update when I get it, because this was pretty good stuff).
I was pretty sure my wife revelled in the social painting experience because she is quite crafty – and it really did bring us closer together to create something in unison because we had been squabbling a bit prior to the date and even as we got there – and it was confirmed that she did enjoy it on Sunday as she thanked me again and suggested that we gather some friends and book another session sometime soon.
Valentine’s Day does serve a purpose after all, all you haters!
And with one holiday down and another one up today – it’s Presidents Day for all you Constitutional scholars out there – here are a few things to chomp on during the early work week to keep you sated before the next issue of Surge rolls out.
In the last Beerman column, our scribe Colin Burch told you about a special batch of grog whipped up by local brewery New South, Lily the Great, and tonight the brew will get its official tapping at Mellow Mushroom.
Here’s the back story, according to Beerman: "With the first birthday of a little girl named Lily, yet another lady is considered worthy of an imperial stout. At least in the eyes of New South Brewing Co.’s head brewer, Brock Kurtzman. Kurtzman’s beloved daughter inspired the name for Lily the Great, the Myrtle Beach brewery’s first foray into high-gravity beers. Imperial stout is Kurtzman’s favorite beer style, and Lily the Great is a potent one, hitting 11.3 percent. Lily the Great was the product of a noteable collaboration between homebrewers and New South. The beer began as a homebrew recipe by Piggly Wiggly's Mike Byrd and John “Jilly” Garner of Myrtle Beach Craft Beer. The home-brewed version was called Graves of Valor, and apparently it had developed a following among fellow homebrewers."
Proud papa Kurtzman says the shindig will be from 5-7 tonight, and there's a rumor Beerman will be there, too, if you're looking for autographs.
And like a phoenix, she rose from the ashes...
Who can forget the Mardi Gras fire last year that destroyed Marsh Walk staple Dead Dog Saloon, and how quickly the waterfront hot spot was built back and up and running again?
Well, Dead Dog is thanking its loyal customer base by throwing a "One Year Past the Ashes" party on Tuesday, featuring extended happy hour and a performance by retro soul/funk/R&B outfit Tru Sol, which is expected to take the stage at 8 p.m.
Dead Dog Saloon is at 4079 U.S. 17 Business, Murrells Inlet. Call 651-0664.