Puyallup resident Lori Paine was 5 years old when she first remembers having the urge to create art.
At that age, she often watched her aunt paint, and she was so inspired by the process that she started painting herself.
“I was so impressed with it that I just started sketching faces,” said Paine, 59. “I’ve always had this passion for portraits in particular.”
I was so impressed with it that I just started sketching faces. I’ve always had this passion for portraits in particular.
Lori Paine, owner of Voilà Art Studio
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As a self-taught artist, Paine spent decades learning how to paint by practicing and watching other artists. Now, with her new business, Voilà Art Studio, she gets to teach others the same way.
Voilà Art Studio opened in February and is a “paint and sip” studio in downtown Sumner, where those interested in a creative night out can register for an evening of painting.
After signing up for a class, each customer gets their own easel station to paint at. Paine — or another instructor — begins with a finished painting. Then, she follows through the steps of creating the painting while the customers, prepped with snacks and wine or other drinks, follow along.
“I set up the original (painting), then lead them through the painting,” Paine said.
There’s even a real-time camera, so that those near the back of the room can see her painting techniques up close.
“I think (the camera) is unique to our studio,” she said.
Each class is about three hours long. By the end of it, the painters can take home their works of art.
“People come and they discover they like it,” Paine said. “The main objective is fun.”
For most of her life, Paine painted for fun. In high school, she painted portraits for $2 for other students. But that was as far as her early business took her. Instead, Paine joined the medical field and worked as a nurse for 27 years.
Lori and her husband, Greg, have been together for 11 years. Greg knew painting was an important part of Lori’s life, and wanted to give her a space to do that.
“Lori is an artist first and foremost and she’s always wanted to really pursue that dream,” said Greg, 58. “I thought it would be a shame, when we’re seniors, to look back and say ‘Why didn't we give that a shot?’”
Lori is an artist first and foremost and she’s always wanted to really pursue that dream. I thought it would be a shame, when we’re seniors, to look back say ‘Why didn't we give that a shot?’
Lori opened her first personal studio several years ago in Tacoma, but eventually closed it.
“The problem with it was we were on a more limited budget, it was challenging to find (and) it was not a feasible (space),” Greg said.
But Greg still wanted Lori to have a studio, so he continued to look for a space.
“My husband knew my passion was art — I was always painting at home,” Lori said. “In December (he) started looking for a studio without me knowing.”
Greg showed Lori some possibilities, and that’s when they found the space in downtown Sumner. That month, it was theirs.
“In a nutshell, I wanted to be the catalyst for some kind of process that would allow Lori to explore her creativity and artistic nature,” Greg said.
Initially, the studio was going to be a personal one, but then Lori decided she wanted to make a business out of it.
“People are looking for stuff to do,” Lori said. “Instead of a movie they can come here, interact, socialize. They can learn something new — and learn something new about themselves.”
People are looking for stuff to do. Instead of a movie they can come here, interact, socialize. They can learn something new — and learn something new about themselves.
Lori continues to paint portraits while running classes and parties at the studio with her other instructors, Katie LeFevre and Lauren Burroughs. Moving forward, she wants to add classes tailored to both children and adults. She also takes commissions.
“It’s kind of weird starting a career at 60, but it’s fun,” Lori said. “The act of creating something is very satisfying. I like the challenge of making something look the way it’s supposed to. I don’t ever get tired of it.”
Lori lives in Puyallup with her husband and has six children. Voilà Art Studio is located on 120 Main St. in Sumner. For more information and to register for classes, visit VoilàArtStudio.com.