Tuesday, September 28, 2021     Volume: 22, Issue: 30
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Santa Maria Sun / Art

The following article was posted on June 16th, 2021, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 22, Issue 16 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 22, Issue 16

Art Spot on Wheels hosts pop-up painting events in outdoor settings throughout Santa Barbara County

By CALEB WISEBLOOD

Whether you’re Michelangelo the late artist, Michelangelo the Ninja Turtle, or any Michelangelo in between, painters of all skill levels (including first-timers) are invited to attend Painting in the Vineyard, a mobile plein-air workshop offered by Art Spot on Wheels


See spot paint
Art Spot on Wheels hosts its next Painting in the Vineyard event at Ca’ Del Grevino Estate Winery on Saturday, June 26, from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission is $75, which includes art supplies and complimentary wine tasting. Visit artspotonwheels.com for more info. The winery is located at 2510 E. Clark Ave., Santa Maria.

The next class takes place on Saturday, June 26, at Ca’ Del Grevino Estate Winery in Santa Maria. And more pop-up dates are on the way, after a pandemic-long hiatus from hosting events, explained Christi Belle Art Spot on Wheels owner and founder.

“We plan to add more to the calendar soon. The last couple of months we’ve been able to restart private events and have hosted one or two public events,” Belle said. “The pandemic pretty much wiped us out for a year. We had a couple Skype classes, but those didn’t work very well. It’s really challenging to teach art from a screen.”

Although the company is best known for bringing its mobile services to various venues, Art Spot on Wheels formerly occupied a brick-and-mortar location in Solvang. But circumstances of the COVID-19 crisis forced Belle to close and vacate the studio space.


VINE INTERVENTION
During the Art Spot on Wheels’ Painting in the Vineyard events, participants create their own plein air landscape based on the scenic views surrounding them, all while enjoying a complimentary wine tasting courtesy of the venue.
PHOTO COURTESY OF CHRISTI BELLE

“We’d love to reopen, but the location has been filled, so we’d need to find another spot,” Belle said. “At this point in time, we don’t have plans to reopen a studio. We’ll have to wait until we find a place that’s just right.”

But with summer gatherings back on the rise along the Central Coast, things are looking bright for Art Spot on Wheels in the outdoor, in-person workshop arena. During the company’s Painting in the Vineyard events, participants create their own plein air landscape based on the scenic views surrounding them, all while enjoying complimentary wine tasting courtesy of the venue.

Described as “not just another paint and sip class,” each 3 1/2 hour course is designed to suit experienced and novice artists alike, as an on-site instructor is available to guide students through the entire painting process, step-by-step. 

While Art Spot on Wheels marks its transition back to in-person events, the studio still offers a few virtual resources for the public to take advantage of, free of charge.


BIRDS OF A FEATHER FLOCK TOGETHER
Formerly known as Gypsy Studios, Art Spot on Wheels brings mobile painting workshops to various venues along the Central Coast, and also offers private lessons and customizable group events for nearly any occasion.
PHOTO COURTESY OF CHRISTI BELLE

“We created some free online content throughout the year for kids and adults. They’re still available on our website and YouTube,” Belle said. “We also sent out art prompts and activities for parents to do with their kids to keep them busy and creative during the lockdown that didn’t involve a lot of supplies.”

Formerly known as Gypsy Studios, Art Spot on Wheels was founded seven years ago, during an uneasy time in Belle’s life, she explained.

“I had just been let go from a job, back in early 2014, and moved home—with my parents—at the age of 30,” Belle said. “I was super depressed, as you might imagine, and thought that I probably just would never be able to get another job.”

Belle had wanted to jump into an art-related career for a long time, trying a variety of different fields, none of which clicked.

“I had tried, at different times in my life, to start a creative business—jewelry making, painting, etc.—and it just never worked for me,” Belle said.

But once Belle decided to incorporate teaching into the mix, the mobile art studio concept became her next venture, and Art Spot on Wheels was born.


LIFE’S A BEACH
“We can bring our studio to you,” Art Spot on Wheels founder Christi Belle said. She added that groups with a particularly nice view or a rented Airbnb can paint where they are.
PHOTO COURTESY OF CHRISTI BELLE

“I come from a long line of teachers; I think it’s in my blood,” Belle said, who began to host her first painting workshops while working as the tasting room manager at Kalyra Winery in Santa Ynez.

“The owners at Kalyra were incredibly generous and kind in helping me launch my business while working there—even offering the location as a venue for my first few events,” Belle said.

During six of the next seven years, Belle wheeled her outdoor workshops from venue to venue throughout Santa Barbara County, while also offering private lessons and customizable group events for nearly any occasion.

“We can bring our studio to you,” Belle said. “If a group has a nice place they’d like to paint at, or a pretty view, or they’ve rented an Airbnb for a group, we can come to their location and they can paint the view from there.”

Arts Editor Caleb Wiseblood is grabbing a brush. Send comments to cwiseblood@santamariasun.com.










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