Merissa Pratt honed her eye for composition and color from behind the lens of a camera, but it didn't take her long to apply her talents to painting as well. To help others discover their penchant for the brush, she began Painting Parties, leading groups in recreating her personal paintings. She travels to the location of the party host’s choice, transforming a room in a client's home or office into a temporary studio as she covers precious floors with drop cloths and fills the space with easels, paints, and brushes. She invites guests to supply snacks and, most importantly, their favorite libations to help draw out creative impulses. At the end of the session, she and her crew handle the cleanup while the newly initiated painters admire their frame-ready works of art and master gallery-friendly phrases such as, “This really speaks to me,” and “No, seriously—I think this painting is talking.”
The shutterbugs at Janssen Photography capture subjects around charming outdoor grounds or inside their contemporary studio. At the Lakewood site, a historical Victorian home nestles amid 2 acres of scenery that include a pond, waterfall, gazebo, and a 1940s vintage pickup truck. Once photographers have composed sophisticated family photos, whimsical child portraits, and memorable senior photos, they retouch these images and immortalize them in print form. When they aren't working with families, individuals, and couples at their studios, Janssen's photographers go on location for clients, and also photograph corporate headshots.