Artists see new business as stroke of genius

Union Leader Correspondent
August 15. 2012 12:32AM
Guests mingled with artist Lauren Burnett, daughter of Sherry Burnett, during a “paint party” at Sherry's Salem studio earlier this month. From left to right are Lorrie Catalano, Dave Dunkley, Brett Cabral, Lauren Burnett and Betsy Brien. Sherry Burnett and fellow artist Elaine Farmer of Londonderry launched their new business venture, Paint pARTy, this summer. (Courtesy)
LONDONDERRY - Being the life of the party is something local artists Elaine Farmer and Sherry Burnett are learning to relish.

Farmer, of Londonderry, and Burnett, of Salem, launched their business, Paint pARTy, earlier this summer and they said they're looking forward to sharing their passion for the arts in a variety of festive settings.

The concept is simple: You provide the creativity and enthusiasm and Paint pARTy provides plenty of paint, easels, brushes, pre-stretched canvases and protective aprons.

Painting parties can be held at customers' homes or businesses or at the ladies' professional art studios, located at 9 Penobscott Avenue in Salem and 106 Chase Road in Londonderry.

Typical painting parties involve a handful of guests, though larger events can be tailored to fit a corporate, charity or church setting.

Either way, the focus is on making 'fun art,' if not necessarily 'fine art.'

When the canvases are brought to the scene, they already have the design lightly sketched. The artists then offer step-by-step instructions.

'The experience is suited to anyone who has never picked up a paint brush,' Farmer said, noting that those with a bit more experience will have fun as well. 'We provide step-by-step instruction and supplies for you to create beautiful original artwork for your home while having a fun night out.'

Farmer met Burnett nearly 12 years ago when Burnett's daughter, Lauren, attended an art class at Farmer's Londonderry studio.

'She'd come to pick up her daughter, and she'd stare into the room like she wanted to jump right in,' Farmer recalled.

Burnett later signed up for art classes and eventually opened her own studio in Salem.

In recent months, the two friends decided they'd like to try something they believed had never been done in the area.

'We'd heard of paint parties, but ours is a bit different,' said Farmer. 'The difference is we're ready to bring the party to you and create a workspace if you need one.'

Smaller gatherings of 12 artists or fewer can easily be accommodated at either of the studios, she noted.

'We're cutting back on a lot of overhead by not having an actual storefront,' said Farmer. 'The goal here is to always keep it mobile.'

The first Paint pARTy was held at Burnett's Salem studio on Aug. 3, and Farmer said word is already spreading.

'I think this just might be a big hit,' Farmer said with a smile.

For more information, visit

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April Guilmet may be reached at


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