Pinot’s Palette: Painting Therapy in South Austin

Though everyone is using the same inspiration painting, they can turn out very different!

Though everyone is using the same inspiration, paintings can turn out very different!

I once decided after a friend gifted me with his old easel that I was going to paint.

I went out to the local craft store and bought a starter kit, some brushes and some really cheap canvas. I wore an old white button-down shirt, ready to have it creatively splattered with paint.

I stood in front of the canvas and very literally had no idea where to begin. I had a general idea of something that I thought might be fun to paint. But when presented with the actual logistics of canvas and paints, I found myself lost. I did eventually put a sloppy background down and tried to do a foreground, but I hated it so much that when the easel and half-completed painting disappeared in one of my many moves, I wasn’t upset at all.

Though Chrissy and I were basing our paintings on the same original, they came out very differently!

Though Chrissy and I were basing our paintings on the same original, they came out very differently!

Pinot’s Palette, a Houston-originated franchise, is riding a new wave of BYOB painting places that seems to be sweeping the nation. The price of between $20 and $45 gets you all the supplies you’ll need to become the next Picasso – paints, brushes, and a canvas. The price varies based on the piece you’ll be “inspired” by — because Pinot’s takes the guesswork out of painting!

Each class on Pinot’s calendar is focused on a specific classic work of art that they will  teach you how to replicate. You would think that this would take the fun out of painting, but having a base inspiration actually makes the process of painting really soothing. And despite everyone having the same inspiration, when you look around the room you really get a sense of individuality among the many canvasses.

The instructor stands centrally and coaches you through each step of the painting, helping you to mix colors and demonstrating the techniques used by each of the original artists. For the brave, there is a cart with the full gamut of acrylic paints. So if you want to deviate from the original painting’s color scheme, you absolutely can. And if you think you can’t paint, or have no artistic skill, going to Pinot’s Palette will prove you wrong.

Painting + Drinking = Fun

Painting + Drinking = Fun

In our busy lives, I think few people take 2-3 hours to just do art, listen to music and let their creative side go wild. Pinot’s Palette reaffirmed for me the power of creativity in stress relief. I’ve taken my husband (who painted a great rendition of Van Gogh’s “Starry Night over the Rhone” while keeping BOTH his ears on!). And when my mother came into town, I took her to Pinot’s and she had an AMAZING time.

My mom (right) had a blast!

My mom (right) had a blast

So if you’ve got a corporate event coming up, or need an excuse to get a bunch of friends together, Pinot’s Palette is an excellent choice. You can bring any sort of beverage you like, and many people also bring food. Pinot’s will supply wine glasses and corkscrews, along with aprons and endless paper towels for the inevitable hazards of drinking wine while painting.

And once you’ve completed your masterpiece, you can buy one of the frames they offer in the shop for $35 that fit the canvasses perfectly.

When your friends come over and compliment your artwork, imagine how much AWESOMER it will be to be able to say “Oh yeah? I painted that.”

3005 South Lamar Blvd. Suite B106, Austin, TX 78704
(512) 326-2746


Photos courtesy of the Pinot’s Palette website gallery and Christine Kerns Gillette. 


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  • Nathan K Smith

    My company, Austin Tenant Advisors had the pleasure of helping Pinot’s Palette find and lease their retail space. Pinot’s Palette is a great place for people to get to know each other better by creating a social atmosphere for people to learn something new and interact with one another. Vicki Rummel is a great business woman and works hard to make sure Austinites have a hip experience to paint, drink, and have fun! My wife’s dinner club girls also spent the evening there a few weeks ago and had a great time!

    • Brittany Highland

      I wasn’t aware of that connection, @twitter-130753306:disqus. Wonderful!

    • Laura Darby

      I’m hoping that they’ll get another space in the north too ;)