B.Y.O.B. and paint your ass off

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First Posted: 10/20/2014

Katharine Schkloven of Clarks Summit loves living in northeastern Pennsylvania. She appreciates the beautiful mountains, great parks and abundance of recreational activities, including skiing, fishing and hiking. She is a bigger fan of the summer weather here, having come from Richmond, Virginia, where Schkloven insists you’d have to live in air conditioning if you didn’t want to melt. As for the people, she admires how hard core they are.

“People don’t stay home around here just because of a little snow. Even my nine year old neighbor hunts with her dad and has her own gun,” Schkloven said.

In the spirit for getting out of the house and being productive, Schkloven has spent the past year working hard to bring color, creativity and confidence to this area.

The owner of Spirited Art Scranton in Dickson City moved to NEPA two years ago when her husband found new work as a professor in the Chemistry Department at Wilkes University. A lawyer by trade herself, Schkloven was first turned on to painting when her daughter took a summer camp at Spirited Art in Virginia.

“My daughter had a blast. I kept looking at those paintings hanging in her room and thought people in NEPA would love a place like Spirited Art. I met with the corporate team at Spirited Art and determined I wanted to give it a shot. I am a firm believer in making your community a better place to live. That’s what I hope I am doing with Spirited Art Scranton,” Schkloven said.

Admittedly more artistic with words than paints (as most lawyers), Schkloven insists everyone has a creative side to them.

“We take the people who come to paint through each painting step by step. We explain things in simple terms that anyone can understand. Not technical jargon,” Schkloven said.

Andrea O’Neill of Mountain Top appreciates the simplicity of the classes.

“I love that I get to have all the fun of art without the frustration with all of having to know all the techniques,” O’Neill said.

Some students keep coming back for more.

“I have been here three times and plan on coming back again. It’s a great accomplishment and it’s a great night out with the girls. My friends and I don’t get to see each other as much as we used to. We’re too busy with work and family and all the usual distractions in life. When we come to paint, we get to catch up, have a great time and feel great about what we create,” said Merrilee Desimone of Newton Township.

Spirited Art Scranton accommodates people of all ages — from preschool classes to nights where adults are invited to bring their own bottle of wine while they get their paint on.

“My favorite part of the business is seeing someone happy with what they create, especially kids. I love it when people come in skeptical and leave feeling proud of their painting. It’s a huge confidence builder,” Schkloven said.

Confidence, according to Schkloven, is a crucial element to success. The more confident someone is, the further they will go in their pursuits.

More information on classes and schedules can be found at myspiritedart.com and Facebook.com/SpiritedArtScranton.