Paint the town merlot

An upcoming paint and sip studio pairs upscale décor with humble artistic beginnings

Illustration by Mark Stivers

Keep up-to-date with Hue Paint & Sip Studio (5642 J Street) and its upcoming art classes this November. (916) 457-4831,

In the niche world of paint-and-sip studios, where franchises are now commonplace, Jacqueline Johnson wants something different for her new business. She hopes Hue Paint & Sip Studio in East Sacramento will offer patrons an upscale place to paint, socialize and dine—even if it’s on take-in fast food.

“It’s going to be part of my personality,” Johnson says. “Our paint studio is going to be upscale, kind of chic [and] pretty, but you can still go in and paint. It’s like having a nice house. … Although we won’t care too much if there’s paint on the floor.”

Johnson is scheduled to open Hue Paint & Sip Studio in November. The still-in-progress décor will include a sparkling chandelier and plenty of mirrors that will add brightness and depth to the space.

Hue Paint & Sip inhabits the former Hot City Pizza location, oddly the antithesis of upscale compared to Johnson’s vision for her creative space. It’s positioned just behind the Rocket Joe coffee kiosk and next to the Greek restaurant, Opa-Opa, on the corner of 57th and J streets.

Artists of all calibers are welcome to participate in the studio’s upcoming two-hour evening classes led by five rotating regional artists, or to stop by open-studio hours that will be scheduled several days a week. All supplies from brushes and canvases to acrylic paints will also be provided to participants. Behind the wine bar, glasses of reds and whites will assist with the creative process, but beer and nonalcoholic beverages will also be available at this 21-and-older studio.

The Sacramento region has more than a dozen independent and franchised businesses where wine consumption and artistic expression provide meetup options, while about 200 Painting with a Twist franchises are located across 28 states. Cleverly titled businesses like Pinot’s Palette, Wine & Design, Paint Nite and plenty of others that continue to spread across the nationwide canvas.

Johnson, 50, retired in March from UC Davis where she worked in administration and finance. Three years before she retired, she began asking herself what was next on the horizon. The answer was art.

“I took a couple of painting and art classes and I kind of liked it,” Johnson recalls. “Art is something in my heart. It puts me in this mindfulness space.”

With six months of renovations behind her, Johnson looks to open this November and envisions an environment where artists and visitors will, naturally, imbibe in the studio’s slogan: “Relax, Paint, Socialize & Have Fun.”

“I am a good artist, but I am not the artist,” Johnson says. “I paint, but I am looking forward to learning. … The artists can tell people who say, ‘I can’t do that,’ that they can.”