Painting + wine + cupcakes = SPLASH

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Starting Friday, SPLASH offers a different take on happy hour, inviting artsy and non-artistic types alike to try their hand at painting. (Read the full story here.)

A soft opening on Saturday showed a spunky business ready to open its doors. From its Tejon Street storefront, SPLASH looks like a specialty boutique, playful and brightly hued. Inside, a small section displays unique gifts and trinkets for sale, everything except the walls dripping with vibrant pigment.

The white walls are like a canvas, mostly blank with a few hung paintings and several murals by Hunter Chambers, SPLASH's painting instructor. On one wall, black silhouettes of ladies and gents in evening gowns and top hats dance under silhouetted chandeliers, bringing cohesion to the shop, which is peppered with black accents. A bar hugs one wall and the rest of the space is a workshop, with rows of long tables topped with easels bearing blank canvases.

In such a creative space, inspiration comes easy. And the way Hunter guides you through the process makes painting equally uncomplicated. Working along with you, he walks you through the steps with sass and a little Southern charm, making sure to remind everyone that painting isn't about perfection.

The evening ran smoothly, with barely a glitch; suggestions from participants during a feedback session included lefty seating and someone walking around to top off wine glasses.

Just in time for Valentine's Day, SPLASH is hosting a Cupcake Celebration on Saturday at 6 p.m. You can paint, eat, and even drink cupcakes. (They'll be pouring a California cupcake wine.)

Private lessons will start Monday. Catch SPLASH on Facebook for more details.

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