Nicole Quinnell

Getting to Know: Nicole Quinnell from Pinot and Picasso Enfield

Nicole Quinnell always wanted to run her own art studio, and it was while attending a Pinot and Picasso workshop with friends that inspiration struck. She opened the organisation’s Enfield franchise in May, only to close a few weeks later due to Sydney’s Covid-19 lockdown. With restrictions easing, the easels are being unpacked and she’s loving hosting groups of friends and family for their much needed post-lockdown catch-ups.

OFFER: Mention ‘Inner West Mums’ when booking a session with Pinot and Picasso Enfield and receive a 10 per cent discount.

Tell us a little bit about yourself

I’m a graphic designer by profession, but I’ve always painted and drawn on the side. I was a student with Michael Zaiter in Merrylands for around a decade, and we used to have exhibitions and sell our work. He was mainly focused on oils but then switched to acrylics, which is what we use at the Pinot and Picasso studio. It’s a very easy medium to work with. It dries quickly, so you don’t have to wait – you can move on to another section of the painting.

I still freelance as a graphic designer, but it was always a dream to have my own studio. I’m also a mum to two great kids.

You had only recently opened the studio when lockdown commenced. How did you handle it?

Pinot and Picasso Enfield studio

After a lot of hard work we opened the studio on May 8 this year. We were running classes for six weeks and then closed down for 15 weeks in lockdown. It has been stressful. It was a lot of juggling and keeping in contact with customers and partners.

We re-opened on October 22 and had a massive opening weekend. We had an opening pop-up at Wests Ashfield Leagues Club with a ‘Don’t go chasing’ (waterfalls) class and that went really well. We have a studio but we’re also mobile. We can come to you. We can do pop-ups within the community. Hopefully we’ll do more at West Ashfield Leagues Club in the future, so stay tuned!

For me, there is nothing like living and breathing something that makes you feel whole. It has always been in me. Living and breathing my passion for art.  And now I get to share my love with others.

How do the Pinot and Picasso classes work?

Our sessions run for about 2.5-3 hours, depending on the detail involve. The kids’ workshops run for two hours.  We really target beginners.

Often people are like “it was so much fun, and so much easier than I expected”. Sometimes people think it’s going to be a challenge, but we break it down and pace it. We are there to assist them.

We are a BYO studio, so you bring in your own drinks and food. But we also offer grazing boards at checkout. We have a full kitchen, including an oven if people want to warm things up.

We have music playing in the background. We have one instructor. After everyone gets their food and drinks set up, everyone in front of them has four paint brushes, the easel and canvas, a mason jar for water and paints, then they’re starting from scratch.

A lot of people are so surprised. They come mainly with friends as a social outing, they don’t actually realise they can do it. They are amazed!  They are so stoked and saying ‘I’ll be back’!

Who do your classes cater to and what do people get out of it?

A class at Pinot and Picasso Enfield

It is for any skill level, especially people who haven’t painted before. A lot of people say it is just so relaxing. They can tune out and escape. They are being looked after by us. It’s a fun, safe space to escape for three hours. And to re-connect with friends and family after lockdown.  We’re having so many people book in groups at the moment. They are catching up after so many months apart.

I’m hoping to run more advanced classes in the future, for people looking to push themselves.

Favourite places in the inner west?

The Italian Flame which has the most beautiful candles and decor in store.

Pinot and Picasso, Shop 2, 248 Liverpool Rd, Enfield, pinotandpicasso.com.au/enfield/, email: enfield@pinotandpicasso.com.au

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