In a city full to the brim with artistic masterpieces, many visitors often find themselves inspired to pick up a paintbrush after hours of exploring Barcelona’s endless art scene. Fortunately, Los Angeles legends Bruce and Alisa seem to have found a solution. This month marks the one-year anniversary of the couple’s unique business, Arte Bar, Barcelona’s first and only painting studio. The studio offers family painting afternoons, team building events, private parties and weekly fine art classes for adults and children. However, on a brief look at the website, one event in particular caught my eye: ‘Paint and Wine night’.
With a beret on my head and a bottle in my hand, last Saturday night I made my way to Bruce and Alisa’s studio to take part in this rather enticing event. I was welcomed by the couple, who I can confidently confirm are two of Barcelona’s most charming and smiley residents, who will make any budding Van Goghs or potential Picassos feel at ease with their easels.
We were shown to our places each equipped with a blank canvas, an easel, a selection of brushes and a colourful pallet of paints. Once sat down with a glass in hand, I had a chance to admire the room: a light, modern studio with three long tables lined from the entrance to the back of the room. Bruce’s own studio sits just above the end table, on a mezzanine floor cluttered with hundreds of colourful canvases. Vibrant paintings are hung along the walls, showcasing the different designs available at each paint night. “When we first started out we must have painted a hundred Sagrada Familias” Bruce told me. “We can experiment a bit more now, and it is nice to change it up.”
As the class began, Bruce held fort at the front of the studio, and demonstrated each step towards creating our masterpiece, whilst Alisa busied around the room with a smile on her face. A perfect host, she engaged with each person in the class, chatting away happily to everyone, whilst ensuring we all had enough paint, clean water, and last but not least, a hand-steadying glass of Catalonian Tempranillo. Bruce effortlessly maintained the perfect balance of acting both teacher and friend. Despite his undeniable artistic talent, he was full of genuine praise for every person’s artwork, a quality even more impressive than his own creative expertise.
The class offered painters the choice to sit back and paint in their own world or socialise with fellow Frida Kahlo’s of the evening. Equally, painters were given the freedom to be as creative as they liked, paint whatever they wanted, or to follow the instructions of our guides. Halfway through the evening, Bruce and Alisa dragged us away from our canvases to invite us to a feast of nibbles.
Whether you’re an expert with a brush or a bottle, Arte Bar caters to all abilities. Bruce and Alisa’s ‘Paint and Wine Night’ is a guaranteed evening of honest, wholehearted fun, and an evening in Barcelona you will not forget.
Don’t miss at Arte Bar…
Fine Art Classes for adults and children on Saturdays
Portrait drawing workshop February 24/25th.
For the full events schedule, check out Arte Bar’s online calendar.
Featured photo by Anna Kolosyuk