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Niagara Falls
Monday, May 20, 2024
Revellers splash paint at Konzelmann wine tasting
Ann Merritt, co-founder of You and I Paint, shows her clients how to paint lavender leaves. EVAN LOREE
Connie Li and Sandy Dupuis sit back to back for Ann Merritt's guided painting session. EVAN LOREE EVAN LOREE
Connie Li tries her hand at painting while visiting Niagara-on-the-Lake from Toronto. EVAN LOREE EVAN LOREE
Michelle Cayouette snaps a photo of her friends while celebrating Pam Bursey's 30th birthday at Konzelmann's wine and paint experience. EVAN LOREE EVAN LOREE

A few visitors to Konzelmann Estate Winery had to be careful not to dip their paint brushes in their wine glasses Saturday afternoon.

The estate winery hosted Ann Merritt, co-founder of You and I Paint, who led a few of the winery’s visitors through a painting lesson as they tasted a sampling of charcuterie and vino.

“You don’t need any art experience for an event like this,” Merritt said, adding it was a very inclusive and therapeutic environment.

Merritt started the company with her older sister, Ban Markos in 2020. The two offer painting classes for private events, often bringing their services to the wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake.

The company will be hosting another paint event at at Peller Estates Winery for Mothers Day on May 12.

Tickets are currently on sale for $115 a pop at the Peller Estates website.

Several of the amateur Van Goghs and would-be Monets were there celebrating birthdays.

Pamela Bursey was celebrating her 30th birthday with a few friends.

And Rebecca Haidary, with husband Omar Haidary, were visiting together from Hamilton in celebration of her 30th as well.

“You don’t often see paint and wine together,” her husband said. 

Haidary said he and his wife were staying at the Prince of Wales Hotel for the night and stumbled on the paint and wine pairing while looking for a fun afternoon activity.

Bursey’s friend Sandy Dupuis sat on the other side a of a row of easels and half-painted cavases, taking the occasional sip of Konzelmann’s wine as a sommelier walked the guests through the floral and fruity notes of each vintage.  

“We’re just celebrating, doing something fun,” Dupuis said.

As Merritt walked the group through the steps needed to paint a sky and field framed by stalks of lavender, Dupuis shared that it was a new activity for her.

“You know what I did my best. That’s all that matters,” she said.

Merritt said she and her sister used to work in architecture together before they made the switch to art.

“I’ve always followed my sister’s footsteps,” she said, adding they had two daughters each and were always spending time together.

And though it was hard to leave architecture behind to become “starving artists,” she said they “always had a calling for arts.”

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