Sip & Gogh lets you paint and drink like a pro
Art is good with wine. If you disagree with this statement, then you’ve obviously never tried doing both at the same time. But if you’re nodding, then you have to visit Sip & Gogh, the first and only “Paint and Sip” studio in the country. Cleverly named, the studio offers what their tag line suggests: painting sessions while enjoying glasses of wine.
The first of its kind
“If you hear a voice within you that says you cannot paint, then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced,” said the famous and earless painter, Vincent Van Gogh.
It’s one of the many quotes that inspired the six childhood friends to name their business venture Sip & Gogh. According to one of the owners, Christopher Cruz, he and his friends decided to put up the place after the fine arts graduate in their group attended a drink and paint event in the states, and thought that it would be something that the local market would respond positively to. After some serious planning, Sip & Gogh was established in December 2012, and remains to be the one of the most interesting concept studios in the Philippines. With helpful guidance from the instructors, guests are made into instant artists.
“Aside from being art enthusiasts, we’re also drinking buddies. We’re not wine connoisseurs, but we just know how to appreciate good wines,” said Cruz. Wanting to incorporate wine into their business, Cruz added that they also want to promote wine appreciation since it’s steadily growing as a drink of choice among Filipinos.
The studio offers different packages fit for all kinds of groups: families, friends, co-workers, or even for couples who want to do something artistic and fun for their date. Weekend summer workshops for kids (non-alcoholic sessions, of course) happen every Saturday at 10am, since majority of the adult guests come in at a later time. The studio also opens their doors for private parties, corporate, and press events, offering the use of their courtyard overlooking the city. Just imagine the sunset that drapes over the metropolis — that alone should be enough inspiration to paint. If you want to add a dose of art into your private event, the studio can also do offsite sessions.
Never held a paintbrush before? No problem.
It may seem daunting and intimidating just thinking about mixing colors, using brushes and painting on actual canvasses, or worse: mimicking fine art masterpieces. But it’s not. Even if you’ve never picked up a crayon in your life, you’ll do just fine. Thanks to the patient instructors who check on the progress of customers, every minute spent on painting is a learning process. The instructors will even demonstrate how to hold the brushes or how to draw a straight line by positioning the fingers. It’s like a summer art workshop squeezed into three hours, and it’s no surprise if you get a surreal feeling of achievement once you finish a painting.
“We provide step-by-step instructions to all of our guests. We tell them if they’re hesitant, just check our Facebook page and they’ll see what our guests have painted with us. They were able to come up with decent artworks of their own,” said Cruz.
One of the guests that I shared the session with last held a paintbrush when she was in elementary school, but with instructions and a little bit of wine, she was able to recreate Edvard Munch’s “The Scream of Nature.” The best thing about the whole experience is how the studio allows their customers to take their paintings home, along with the bragging rights that exude, “Yes, I made this piece of art.” The studio features different paintings per session, which are scheduled in a calendar posted on their site. There’s something for everyone; whether you’re into dramatic landscapes or vibrant displays of shapes, all interests are welcomed and transformed into colorful canvasses worthy of a space in your apartment.
Getting tipsy with art
Wine is served at most art or gallery-related events, and it’s only fitting to be the banner drink for Sip & Gogh. “Similar to art appreciation, wine appreciation is objective. What may be good for me might not be good for another person,” said Cruz. He added that the selection of wine was based on the partners’ personal choices, and that they attended wine tasting events, with wine distributors letting them choose which ones they’d like Sip & Gogh to carry.
“We made sure that we tasted and selected the wines that we offer here so that somehow, we can guarantee that it’s something that our guests will appreciate,” said Cruz. The studio serves red, white, rose, cocktails and imported beer. To ensure the quality of some of the wines they serve, the studio has a partnership with a wine distributor that supplies them wines like La Princepessa (2010 Cabernet Sauvignon and Carmenere), La Passione Sweet Pink Wine (a mixture of Moscato and Brachetto, and sweet red), La Passione Sweet White Wine, and Bird in Hand. For my session, I was served a glass of 2008 Jules Cabernet Sauvignon along with a plate filled with cheese, olives, crackers and spreads. Sip & Gogh only offers snacks that pair well with their drinks, though they’re willing to let guests bring in their own food if reserving slots for a gathering.
If you want to schedule a cultured and fun night out, visit Sip & Gogh’s website or Facebook page for more information on prices, schedules and reservations.