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Locals discover their creative side at Van Gogh and Vino

Individuals looking to tap into their inner artists need look no further than downtown Modesto where local artist Melinda Stevens is sharing her expertise with newfound painters.

In the subterranean cellar of Modesto restaurant Greens on 10th her unique program, titled Van Gogh and Vino, takes place. The concept is exactly as it sounds: people gather to drink wine and paint with Stevens at the helm as the instructor guiding her students through a pre-planned painting.

“There are some people who have never picked up a paintbrush in their life and they just want to have fun,” said Stevens. “It’s really more of a social event than a class.”

Students pay a fee to participate and get to leave with their canvas in hand. During the lesson participants can sneak upstairs for drinks and appetizers which are available for purchase from Greens on 10th.

As the mastermind behind Van Gogh and Vino, Stevens started the program over a year ago after her sister told her about a similar event in Southern California. As a former art teacher with a Bachelor’s Degree in Art, Stevens found that hosting painting classes would be a fun way to share her creative spirit with the local public.

“I like wine too,” laughed Stevens.

Stevens has cultivated a loyal following with participants returning each month to see which painting she will teach next. Timing the paintings she teaches with the seasons of the year, Stevens aims to create a non-threatening environment for locals to enter and discover their creative side.

“There is an inner artist in everyone and it’s a fun social event, not just going to a movie or a dinner. It’s something different to do and that’s why I think it’s caught on,” said Stevens.
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