Guest Post~ Host a Painting Party

Today I have a guest post from author, Jennifer Slattery all about how to throw a painting party! It sounds like a blast!

I am so artistically challenged, it’s pathetic. But I love to paint. I especially love to paint with friends. So what’s a paint-loving-but-painting-destroying girl to do when a creative bug hits?
Why, find someone—who’s not so creatively challenged—to help, of course. For me, that’s my daughter, and I’ve used her on more than one occasion to help me throw painting parties. I’m pretty sure she could (and probably does) create in her sleep, and just recently she’s discovered the joy of helping middle-aged ladies like myself tap in to their near-nonexistent artistic side. (You can check her and her painting parties out here: https://asartgallery.wordpress.com/)

Don’t have a patient, artsy daughter but still want to host your own painting party? No problem! Here’s how you do it.
First, find a group of friends to paint with, because everything’s more fun when done with your besties, right? And when you’re with the right people, the “what” and “how” feels less important. Meaning, making it about the event and not the end product, and give yourself some flexibility in regard to how you orchestrate your event. 
Ask some preliminary questions like, are they willing to pitch in for supplies and instruction, and if so, how much? Where should you host the event? A park, your house, a friend’s house that has a massive wrap-around, covered porch? 
Second, choose your venue. 
Free is always best. If you can fit everyone in your home or someone else’s, shoot for that. You’ll have access to a sink and running water. But if you want to go big, ask your local library, a privately owned café or coffeehouse, or your church if they’d be willing to host you.
Third, find your instructor.
This is easier than you may think. Start asking around. Chances are, you know someone who knows someone who’s handy with a paintbrush. Get numbers of potential instructors—they don’t have to be Thomas Kincade talented, but they should be comfortable speaking to a group. It helps, a lot, if they have an encouraging, patient, go-with-the-flow personality.
Consider asking your guests to pitch in $20 or so each, which should cover instruction and the cost of supplies. It’ll probably be helpful to let your instructor purchase needed materials. She’ll know how much paint and what colors will be best and will likely have a head’s up on sales.
The past couple times we’ve hosted a painting party at my church, I purchased most of our supplies on Amazon. I was able to buy paintbrushes and canvases in bulk, though I did find a better deal on paints at my local Michael’s. 
Fourth, choose your date. 
You’ll find it helpful to connect with your instructor before setting a date for your party. This is especially true if your teacher is in college. 
Fifth, throw a party! 

Once you’ve done all the legwork, all that’s left is to throw the best party ever, with snacks, drinks, and plenty of chocolate! 
You’ll want to have all your supplies laid out before your guests arrive. We use paper plates as pallets, plastic cups to clean out brushes, and keep plenty of paper towels on hand. You can even buy plastic aprons in bulk for crazy cheep at Costco or Sam’s Club. 
Make sure to prepare for “oops” by covering your painting area with plastic tablecloths. If you anticipate your friends being exceptionally animated, you may want to line old sheets on the floor. 
Sixth and finally, have fun and take lots of pictures. Then share them here, of course!

Jennifer Slattery writes soul-stirring fiction for New Hope Publishers, Christian living articles for Crosswalk.com, and devotions for Internet Café Devotions, the group blog, Faith-filled Friends, and her personal blog. She also does content editing for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas’ Firefly imprint, and loves working with authors who are serious about pursuing their calling. When not writing, reading, or editing, Jennifer loves going on mall dates with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband.
Visit with Jennifer online at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.com and connect with her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/JenSlatte

Breaking Free:
Sometimes it takes losing everything to grab hold of what really matters. Women’s ministry leader and Seattle housewife, Alice Goddard, and her successful graphic-designer husband appear to have it all together. Until their credit and debit cards are denied, launching Alice into an investigation that only leads to the discovery of secrets. Meanwhile, her husband is trapped in a downward spiral of lies, shame, and self-destruction. Can they break free from their deception and turn to the only One who can save them? And will it be in time to save their marriage?

Read Amanda's Review: http://goo.gl/A5uyhO

Read a free, 33-page excerpt here: http://newhopepublishers.com/2016/02/free-sample-of-breaking-free/

Buy it: Christian Book Distributors: http://www.christianbook.com/breaking-free-a-comtemporary-romance-novel/jennifer-slattery/9781596694682/pd/694682?event=ESRCG

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/breaking-free-peter-maxwell-slattery/1119735612?ean=9781596694682

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1VVrSVd

Connect with Jennifer
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JenSlatte
Twitter: @Jenslattery
See scene location pictures for Breaking Free on Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/jenslatte/breaking-free/