Category Archives: Third Ward Milwaukee

Get Splashed

Splash Studio Get splashed. On Saturday, Nate and I had a mission. A painting bar called Splash Studio had opened in the Third Ward a few months ago, and we wanted in on the action. How could we resist the combination of painting and wine? As part of Gallery Night and Day, Splash Bar was holding an open house, offering $5 mini-canvases and drink specials. It seemed like the perfect time to check it out.

I am so happy we walked in.  The staff was welcoming and eager to explain their  concept to us. At any time, feel free to walk in, purchase a mini-canvas and a drink and start paining at the bar or at one of the bistro tables set up around the studio and on the outdoor terrace on Broadway. Grab an apron while they set up your space with a bundle of paintbrushes, a selection of paint, a water cup, mixing plates and a paint cloth. They have a rainbow of large pump dispensers of paint, so you can help yourself as needed (which is very helpful when you have to paint over your masterpiece and start over).

They also offer “Splash Sessions” where you can learn the techniques needed to Splash Session Viewreproduce particular paintings done by local artists. The studio is set up with rows of easels, each with a blank canvas. Check out their calendar online, pick the painting you’d like to do, and make a reservation. The classes are 3 hours long, and an instructor on  a podium guides you through the steps. By the end, you have a painting to bring home to hang in that empty space behind your couch.  While we were doing our freestyle mini-painting, we watched the progression of the splash session behind us, and it was pretty incredible to see the progress. We realized that as talented as we are, a little bit of guidance wouldn’t hurt. Especially with those facial features…

Back to Nate and I. We had decided earlier in the night that our first attempt at paining would be portraits of each other. I’ll preface this by saying that neither one of us has done much painting since middle school, so don’t judge us too harshly. Mixing colors, cleaning paintbrushes, realizing that my hands were covered in paint – it was all kind of therapeutic. Local artists were doing their own work on easels throughout the studio, and the artists and staff checked in often to see if we needed anything and to look at our paintings. I thought I would be uncomfortable with people looking at our work (in case they thought we were TOO good…), but they were very encouraging.  Even if it was suggested that our final portraits bore a slight resemblance to “a Simpsons character” and “an Oompa Loompa.”

Portraits, by Nate and Chrisi

Portrait 1Portrait 2Portrait 3

Portrait 3 1/2Portrait NatePortrait Chrisi

Canvas #2 presented more of a challenge than we had anticipated. As you see in the progression of photos, we changed our vision several times. That’s the beauty of canvas… if it’s “not quite what you wanted,” you can just paint over it. For our first visit, I’d say it’s not too shabby. And we had a great time. Next time we’ll try one of the classes.

2nd Mini, with a theme progression from “happiness” to “nature”

2nd Try 1

2nd Try 3

2nd Try 4

2nd Try 62nd Try 5