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Jan 18

Painting With the Boss

Posted on January 18, 2017 at 1:15 PM by Beth Shumate

PWAT 1Visitors to McKinney (and residents, too) often call the Visitors Center to ask about things to do in McKinney. While much of the "to do" list, of course, includes attractions and businesses around the downtown square - it is our gem, after all - we like to remind folks that there are plenty of other places in McKinney that may be lesser known, more off the beaten path and just as fun! 

One such place, Painting with a Twist, is certainly not new to McKinney.  And unlike quite a few other places in town that are closed on Sundays and Mondays, PWAT offers a fun night out (or day out on the weekends) every day of the week. Located on Hardin just south of Eldorado, this fun spot is tucked away in a quiet shopping strip next to Papa Murphy's Pizza and close to Baskin Robbins. Guests pay a fee for the painting - $35 for a two hour session, $45 for a three hour session for the more detailed paintings and on special Wednesdays, you can find $25 paintings - and bring wine or other beverage and a snack to nibble on while painting and socializing. (The fee covers all supplies and the team at PWAT handles all the set-up and clean-up.)

15943417_10210100285355998_323949695_o(Let's stop here for a second. We want to point out that the main thing you need to know about Painting with a Twist or a similar business is that no prior painting or art experience is necessary to have a great time and go home with a painting you did yourself. The instructor walks you step-by-step through the painting and is there to help you any way he or she can.)

For people who maybe haven't visited in a while, or perhaps those aren't familiar with this business, the public got a nice introduction to Painting with a Twist a couple weeks ago when the TV show, Undercover Boss, featured one of the company's founders, Renee Maloney, as she visited three locations, two in Texas and one in the business's home state of Louisiana.  

The McKinney location may not have been one that Maloney visited for the show, but that didn't stop new owner Tamara Kelley from hosting a watch party complete with painting, refreshments and a big screen TV.

The painting that customers completed that evening was one of the paintings featured in the show. This particular painting, a zany zebra, was created by a PWAT employee who is one of the painting teachers at a franchise in our North Texas neighbor town of Rowlett. McKinney PWAT instructor Riley Willoughby (above left) helped guests make the painting their own by selecting the color scheme and even altering it slightly to be a giraffe or, in a couple cases, a cow!  (To best illustrate the steps for completely the painting, Willoughby made her demo painting for the night be half zebra, half giraffe.)

PWAT 2The $25 three-plus hour evening - a special for the watch party - included a lot of laughs, plenty of painting and making new friends. Party attendees especially enjoyed seeing the story behind the woman who created the painting they were completing that night. This artist was the biggest winner of the show. She not only received a nice bonus for her popular painting - PWAT guests across the company's franchises have selected that painting to complete more than 2500 times! - the boss was so impressed with her passion for the business and her enthusiasm with her guests, this artist was given a franchise of her own. 

PWAT 5On the horizon for the McKinney location, according to Kelley, is an overhaul of the interior that'll include separating the two classroom areas with a wall and other freshening up. Also, Kelley is looking for non-profit organizations (501c3s) interested in partnering with the McKinney location for fundraisers as part of their Painting with a Purpose program. (A portion of the total seats sold goes directly to the charity for the selected charitable night.) Call the store for details. 

For more about Painting with a Twist and for a calendar of their upcoming classes, visit their website calendar. The website's seat reservation tool is simple to use. When you go, we'd love to see your photos, so feel free to share them on our Destination McKinney Facebook page! Also, the local PWAT has an very active Facebook page where they post photos and love seeing guest photos, too.

(TIP
! When reserving your spot, if you want to paint with a friend who has already made a reservation, don't forget to include their name. You can also make a note on your reservation if you'd like to change the color scheme or make a slight alteration to the painting. They'll accommodate these requests whenever possible.)