4 fun spots on the North Shore to be a painter

There’s a saying somewhere (though I Googled it for 20 minutes and can’t find it) that goes something like: if you want to be a doer, do that thing daily. OK, that’s definitely not the exact phrase I’m thinking of, but the idea is if you want to be, say, a swimmer, then swim. Want to be a baker? Bake. The execution of the action is enough to warrant the title, as long as you do the activity every day and put in the genuine effort.

Some might not agree (I’m not even sure I do), but it comes in handy when I’m painting. See, I’m not a good painter—I’m really not. Sometimes, when I get discouraged, I don’t remind myself that Van Gogh sold only one painting in his lifetime because I’m not aiming to be the next Van Gogh. I remind myself that if I paint, and try, then a painter I am.

Want to pretend to be a painter, too? Check out these four spots on the North Shore that encourage the habit (and maybe a wine habit, too, which makes for better work, of course).

Plein Air Painting Festival

Sunday, Oct. 8

Village Green, Northbrook 

Quick-paint competition 9 a.m.–12 p.m., festival 12–6 p.m.

Free admission

A great place to start is to see art done in action. Watch more than 30 artists paint outdoors while you enjoy barbecue, live music, a quick-paint competition and more. Several artists will also have work for sale. If the kiddos run out of artistic steam, send them over to the adjacent playground.

Fabulous Trio at Pinot’s Palette

Saturday, Oct. 14, 7–9 p.m.

2011 Tower Dr., Glenview (in The Glen)

$38 per painter

Is there better inspiration for painting three bottles of wine than enjoying some wine while you do it? (No.) Follow the step-by-step instruction of Pinot’s Palette very patient teachers, and voilá—you’ll walk away with a masterpiece. Have zero experience? That’s totally fine! Check out Pinot Palette’s full event calendar to find classes for kids, date nights, parties and much more.

Paint and Sip at Five Seasons

Wednesday, Oct. 18, 5:30–8:30 p.m.

Five Seasons Northbrook, 1300 Techny Rd.

$37 per painter

RSVP by calling Tina at 847-897-5039

Sip some wine, snack on light bites and create a ready-to-hang canvas measuring 16 by 20 inches. (Pro tip: this could potentially make an epic holiday gift.) Headed up by The Painted Penguin of Morton Grove, this instructor-led class is suitable for all skill levels. The price includes all supplies, one glass of wine and appetizers, plus additional refreshments available for purchase.

CR8 Workshop

405 Lake Cook Rd., Deerfield

$39 per adult, $25 per kid craft

Whether it’s a random school holiday or a crummy, stay-indoors kind of day, head to CR8 Workshop to, well, create. This cute studio offers plenty of craft ideas for kids and adults alike, from painting to making mosaics. Bring some snacks and enjoy beer, wine and other refreshments available for purchase.

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