Pet portraits benefit shelter, bring joy to beginner artists
Drawing stick figures is no problem. But for most of us, that’s where the artistic flair ends. It was with this mindset 30 eager beginners settled in front of an easel at the Vino’s Picasso studio in Fort Myers. The object was twofold: Paint a portrait of a favorite pet, and raise funds to benefit the Gulf Coast Humane Society. After introductory pointers, Tony Russell and Dawn Clark got to work painting a portrait of Lily, the couple’s 6-year-old pet dog. Neither had significant artistic background, yet their finished piece looked far from a beginner’s job. “You don’t need talent to do this,” Clark said during the paint. “They [teacher and assistant] help you if you get stuck, and it’s a great girls’ or couple’s night out.”
Pre-registered participants forwarded a pet photo so that Vino’s Picasso instructors could sketch an outline. The rest was up to the artists. “We give them enough to know how to do it, but then they can get creative,” says instructor Michelle Irvine.
Gulf Coast Humane Society events coordinator Jessica Bamford expressed thanks to Vino’s Picasso and the painters for together raising nearly $ 700 in just over two hours. “Everything goes down over the summer, donations, volunteers as well as the number of adoptions, but we need that during off season as much as during season,” she says, noting the surrender-only shelter averages in its care up to 200 cats and dogs.
Vino’s Picasso hosts monthly fundraisers to benefit a number of nonprofits, says Jackie Bickford, manager at the Fort Myers and Naples locations. As the firm’s name attests, both locations are BYOB wine or sell it by the glass or bottle.
Adrian Rosado and Sarina Woodworth attended the portrait event with little experience. “We are both absolute beginners, but very excited how this painting will turn out,” Rosado said at the event.
Vino’s Picasso in Fort Myers is at 15250 Tamiami Trail (Unit 109), 2376 Vanderbilt Beach Road (Unit 805) in Naples. Details are at vinospicasso.com.
Vino’s Picasso artists with pet portraits. The event benefited the Gulf Coast Humane Society.