For many years, my employees and I have participated in paint and sip art classes. If you’re unfamiliar with this type of event, it’s fairly straightforward in meaning. You meet as a group at an art studio or host an artist in a specific space, like the office, and spend an hour or two painting an image as guided by your instructor. In between, there is room to sip on drinks and enjoy casual conversations together.

When I look back on the many group activities we have participated in together over the years — and hopefully can resume post-pandemic — the paint and sip afternoons are some of my absolute favorites. Here are some of the great things that come out of an art session spent with your team.

Time to Mingle

Paint and sip art classes have one requirement: your presence. Show up, put on the apron, get some paint and paintbrushes, pour a drink, and find your assigned canvas.

Don’t sit down right away. Spend a little time chatting with your fellow team members. Mingle as you wait for everyone else to arrive and as anticipation collectively grows for the art event.

Anticipation is a good thing. The 2014 psychological science article “Waiting for Merlot” cites from researchers at Cornell University and the University of California, San Francisco, that waiting for experiences has a more positive impact than that of material purchases, or waiting for possessions. In fact, four studies in this article demonstrate that waiting for an experience is quite pleasurable and exciting. Get caught up with everyone and enjoy the moments leading up to the painting event.

No Perfection Required

Nobody at a sip and paint class is expected to behave as though they are Picasso. There is no pressure to treat a paint and sip event like it’s a competition. Art provides a space where one is free to express themselves.

Granted, a paint and sip class is led by an instructor so you do have some instructions to guide you. Take a sip of your drink and make the canvas your own. Add in your own subtle touches, such as painting with a unique color or using a smaller paintbrush to blend into the canvas.

You might also notice you are becoming more relaxed as you spend more time painting. Painting is therapeutic. It is part of art therapy, where creative expression helps improve our emotional health.

Painting is for Everyone

Painting is all-inclusive. Everyone can participate, regardless of skill or experience level. You can also refresh a paint and sip night to meet everyone’s needs, such as enjoying mocktails or bringing along snacks.

Everyone’s Canvas Has Personality

One of my favorite aspects of paint and sip events is peeking at the other canvas boards around me. No two boards are alike! Everyone expresses themselves a bit differently.

What’s more, quite a few people discover that they are more artistic than they realize. Even if you don’t necessarily think of yourself as an artist, you just created art where there was not any before on your canvas. Now you have a masterpiece and can take it home as a reminder of the fun event.