Who knew there were so many aspiring artists on the SouthCoast? I sure didn't, nor did I ever imagine I would spend a Saturday evening with a paintbrush in hand, assaulting a canvas with blobs of color while trying to replicate the masterpiece on display at the center of the room during a "Paint Night" adventure.

Yet there I was, and it was a blast.

For my most recent birthday, my son Steven, his fiancée Erica, and my wife Suzanne took me to Muse Paintbar on North Main Street in Providence. The place was packed. Paint Night events are so popular that you must book a reservation in advance – sometimes way in advance.

Barry Richard/Townsquare Media

Muse Paintbar bills itself as "a bar & restaurant with top-notch painting instruction...and absolutely NO art experience is required!" Well, that's a good thing since I have no experience and not much artistic ability.

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Somewhere, somehow art – particularly painting – has caught on. Kids all seem to know Bob Ross, the late famous PBS painter. My wife and I were having dinner at No Problemo in downtown New Bedford recently, and instead of ESPN, Bob Ross' image filled the bar area TV monitors.

Super 8 When The Art Comes Down Miami Beach
Robin Marchant

There he was, painting away – in a bar. We've become so cultured.

Most folks walk away from Paint Night with great memories and a painting to frame and hang on their office wall. Others walk away with blobs of paint on a canvas that might send Freud into fits of wonder. That would be me.

Paint night is great fun and a great way to spend an evening with friends. There are venues offering paint nights throughout the area. Find one and give it a shot.

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