Story by Kristen Wong on 04/28/2017SCHOFIELD BARRACKS Did you ever look at a painting in a museum and wonder if you could create a work of art like that?
Have you ever watched Bob Ross's "The Joy of Painting" and been compelled to grab a brush and easel?
The Schofield Barracks Arts & Crafts Center conveniently offers Paint & Sip at Tropics Recreation Center, so you can stretch out your painting muscles and dip into a palette of possibilities.
The class has been offered, here, since March 2016. Dania Wong, an art instructor at the SB Arts & Crafts Center, teaches the class with another center staff member assisting.
Active duty service members, family members, Department of Defense civilians and sponsored guests are eligible to register for this class. Although Wong said the number of attendees varies each month, there has been as many as 40 students in one sitting.
Wong said her boss was inspired to offer the class after attending a Paint & Sip class at a workshop, particularly given the popularity of this type of event in Hawaii.
An instructor for almost five years, Wong has been painting for most of her life. Having co-workers with different specialties at the SB Arts & Crafts Center, she also develops skills in other areas of arts and crafts.
"I really love my job and I have fun doing it," Wong said.
She added that it is rewarding to see students feel proud of their finished work.
Talent and skill are not required for Paint & Sip. Wong said she uses basic brush strokes when teaching the class.
"I take them step by step, line by line," she said. "They are amazed by the end result."
She said it is good to offer Paint & Sip in order to reintroduce people to art and promote not only the Arts & Crafts Center, but also Tropics Recreation Center.
"It's brought art back to people," she said. "They're not as afraid to contemplate and experience painting. In one night they can learn their basics (and) a lot of them continue at home."
Wong said since service members and their families are only stationed in Hawaii for a short time, each class features a Hawaii-themed painting. Previous students have painted scenes such as Chinaman's Hat and Diamond Head. Each class is taught a specific picture, though Wong said attendees may also independently work on a painting of their own during the class. She said students in particular seem to enjoy painting hula girls and ocean scenes.
"I thought it was a lot of fun," said Capt. Royce Quezada, S-3 officer in charge of 8th Special Troops Battalion, 8th Theater Sustainment Command. "I personally like art."
Quezada said he liked how Wong broke down the painting into "baby steps" and shapes to build the painting. Some of the challenges he faced were texturing and blending.
Though the class may have its challenges, military spouse Emily Hart said Paint & Sip was a relaxing challenge.
Students use acrylic paints, which do not come out of clothing, so each student receives an apron. With acrylic paint, however, mistakes can be painted over after drying.
"I like it," said Heather Cooper. "It's something you can do together. It's fun. The technique is good. It's simple enough for a beginner. It's not technically advanced, not too hard, not too easy."
Heather Cooper's husband, Maj. Bradley Cooper, the executive officer of Army Field Support Battalion-Hawaii, suggested they go. The major said the class is great for relaxing, spending time with loved ones, and even spending time away from the children.
In the future, the SB Arts & Crafts Center staff is planning to offer Paint & Sip at The Hangar on Wheeler Army Airfield. Wong said she is also planning to teach painting on wooden panels.