“Everyone can paint” is the philosophy that drives A Splash of Color. Located in Riverside, the paint and sip business has enjoyed success as a party, team building and fundraiser destination. “The talent is in the wine,” jokes co-owner Donn Fernandes. Donn and artist John Paul (JP) Fernandes work to provide a laid back and fun atmosphere for anyone who wishes to create some art. “Our personalities loosen people up,” adds Donn, who provides the wine (or beer, or soda) and snacks for patrons. Laughter is key for encouraging participants to let down their defenses and express themselves.
A Splash of Color opened in June at their brick and mortar location, but JP and Donn have been hosting wine and painting parties for a few years as a mobile operation. In 2015 they began to look for a storefront to run their business out of, as the restaurant space they had been using once a month closed. In their new space, the colorful decor is a labor of love. “People ask where we bought our carpet,” says Donn. In reality the carpet was custom painted by the owners flinging paint around, so a dropped paintbrush here or there wouldn’t be noticeable. The walls feature art by JP as an example of previous or upcoming paint night subjects, including martini glasses, hummingbirds or local favorites like Del’s Lemonade and the Towers at Narragansett Beach.
“Every artist’s eye is different. It’s subjective,” says JP, whose desire to instruct budding artists was inspired in part by the preschoolers he used to teach. “[Making art] was natural to me... I worked with three-year-olds, and they’d try to copy what you were doing.”
Painting should be accessible to everyone, and A Splash of Color strives for that goal. They host specialty events, children’s parties (minus the wine of course), date nights and even “man-cave parties” for those who are interested. As Donn and JP like to tell people, “you will be surprised at the talent you have within yourself.”