Brush it off: Create and Cocktail classes inspire creativity

The finished products of Create and Cocktails at Park Corner Bistro. — Photo courtesy of Jasmine Thomps

Jasmine Thompson has made a mark on the Island quite literally. With her recognizable dark, curly hair and contagious laugh, the local artist has dipped her brush in everything: from painting murals at local restaurants to designing a beer label for Offshore Ale. Her latest happening, after a 10-year stint on the Vineyard, is hosting Create and Cocktail painting classes.

The premise behind Create and Cocktail is to encourage patrons to channel their inner artist through simple instruction, then leave with a proud new piece of décor. The paintings created in the 45-minute or two-hour classes are inspired by Angelina Godbout’s Martha’s Vineyard landscape photography. Though ever changing, they all offer a Vineyard theme. Paint, canvases, light snacks, and beverages are all provided while Jasmine carefully guides every stroke until each pupil’s unique masterpiece is completed.

While some prospective clients’ looming lack of creativity may make them hesitant to participate, former student Kristen Sileo of White Plains, N.Y., encourages them to fear not. “She turned me into an artist,” Ms. Sileo said.”She makes it look so easy. I could barely draw a stick figure before, and she made me feel like Van Gogh.”

Perhaps Ms. Thompson’s innate likability and the low-pressure atmosphere of the classes are what make Create and Cocktails so successful. Her background in both the service industry and the creative world inspired her to teach the classes.

“I’ve worked in the restaurant industry for 15-plus years and have always been an artist,” she said. “I went to art school for education and wasn’t sure I wanted to get in the school system. This concept came up and allowed me to do both of the things I know how to do well.”

Ms. Thompson offers both a full-length class where participants work on a 12- by 16-inch landscape for two and a half hours, or “quickie classes” that last one hour with simplistic paintings on a 6- by 6-inch canvas.

Ms. Thompson stresses that the quickie classes are a way to test out the Create and Cocktail classes without committing a full two hours of your day. “They are the perfect souvenir, easy to carry, and easy to pack or mail,” she said. “If you live here you could do multiple sessions and you could make yourself a multiple painting collage on your wall. They are also perfect gifts.”

Quickie classes, $20, are held at the Dive Bar in Oak Bluffs on Tuesdays from 12 noon to 1 pm and again from 1:30 to 2:30 pm; at The Dockside Inn in Oak Bluffs every Saturday from 4 to 5 pm. Full-length classes, $30, are at the Dive Bar on Tuesdays from 3:30 to 6 pm, with snacks provided by Skinny’s Fat Sandwiches; and at The Dockside Inn on Saturdays at 5:30 pm with wine, beer, and snacks offered, $35.

Ms. Thompson also holds private classes and will come to your home or office to instruct a customized painting class. For more information, visit