Let Your Creativity Flow at the Pickled Painter

A Pickled Painter painting party is always fun! Photo by Clay Greathouse.

By Liesl Greathouse

MONTROSE—(February 19) For anyone looking for some indoor fun on a budget, the Pickled Painter (209 Main St.) aims to please.Eileen DeJulio and Michele Jeffrey are the fun and outgoing owners of the Pickled Painter.  Michele worked as a corporate art consultant for 25 years, while Eileen was a personal trainer.  As friends, Eileen found out about the concept online and approached Michele about doing the idea in Montrose.  “Michele immediately said ‘I’m in’,” Eileen explained.  “We jumped in, not thinking about it too much.  We just went for it.”

“It has been a learning experience,” Michele said.  “We are still learning.” The two contacted franchises that had the same model, but were ignored.  “So we just said ‘screw it’ and decided to do it on our own,” Michele said.  “Now we are glad we got ignored.  It allows us the freedom to do our own thing.”

The Pickled Painter is a fun and relaxed atmosphere where both the artistic and not so artistic can get a canvas and paint whatever they want on it, letting their creativity flow.  During Featured Nights Painting sessions, or Painting Parties, an instructor guides people step by step recreating the featured painting.  For the more ambitious, the Open sessions are without an instructor, so people are free to create whatever they want.  The Pickled Painter hosts a wide range of events: birthday parties for both young and old, bridal showers, business team building, and many others.

“It’s a unique form of entertainment,” Eileen said.  “It’s for the whole family.  It’s not more expensive than taking a family to a movie or bowling, but you have something to take home after the entertainment is over.  It’s fun and it’s very therapeutic.”  The Pickled Painter attracts customers from two years old to 90 years old.  “We have been told to find a demographic for our business, but we really can’t,” Michele said.   “Our business truly appeals to everyone,” Eileen explained.

“Once someone comes in, they get hooked,” Michele added.  “People just do their own thing.”

Prices are $35 for Featured Nights Painting (with instructor), $20 for Open Session Painting (without instructor) and $10 for kids 12 and under (a11x14 canvas panel).  All prices include canvas, paint and all the materials needed to complete a painting.  For anyone wanting to host a group event, the prices are $30 per person for five to 10 people and $25 per person for 11 to 24 people.

For Eileen and Michele, their favorite part of the business is the Painting Parties.  “We just sit behind the bar and watch everybody,” Eileen said.  “We see people who are afraid to start, so we reassure them that there is no critiquing here.  This is their masterpiece, so we try to make it relaxing for them.  It is fun to watch them because, at the end, the people who were the most scared to start create some of the most beautiful pieces.”

“We try to make people comfortable,” Michele said.  “It’s fun because within half an hour to an hour, everyone knows each other’s names.  “People will start with one image and in the end each image will look different for each person,” Eileen added.  “We encourage them to add in their own creative ‘whatever.’”

There are several special discounts at the Pickled Painter, including Ladies Night and New Image Night.  For more details about special discounts and upcoming special events, check out their calendar on their website.  Visitors to their website will also find a coupon for $5 off a painting session.

The Pickled Painter is a proud participant in the Interactive Art Crawl on the third Thursdays of each month.  “We are here for anything,” Eileen said.  “We are bringing in special guests and having specials, including drink specials.”

“Two of the three artists that started the Art Crawl, Sarah Brewer and Naomi Dyer, are artists that display in our store,” Michele explained.  “So we are trying to support them as much as possible and we are excited about all of it.” The main goal for the Pickled Painter is to continue to grow the business.  One key way they are doing that is through holding Painting Parties at other locations.  “We’ll take the party to you,” Michele explained.  “We have held a party at a distillery in Ridgway and we may have future parties at a variety of wineries in the area.  There is always a great turn out to those parties.”

“We have never-ending ideas to keep the business fresh and make it better,” Eileen said.  “We don’t want to go away because it’s so much fun.”

“It’s just been amazing,” Michele explained.  “Our customers come in here and come up with great ideas.  It’s been easy.  We just have to implement those ideas.” A sign on their wall sums up Eileen and Michele’s business philosophy: “Good things happen to those who go for it.”

For more information call 970-812-9504, go online to pickledpainter.com or visit the Pickled Painter at 209 Main Street in Montrose.  They are open Tuesday-Saturday.  Retail and Open session painting hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.  Featured Nights Painting sessions start at 6:30 p.m.