Party With Paint

Carole Cobbold, of Gilbert, runs Party With Paint, a BYOB painting studio, out of a helicopter hangar at Falcon Field Airport in Mesa. [Mandy Zajac/Tribune]

An airport isn’t where you’d expect to find an art studio, but that’s just where one has opened up — in offices within a helicopter hangar at Falcon Field in Mesa.

“We’re on the airport, on Falcon Drive, right across the street from the tower,” says Carole Cobbold, owner of Party With Paint. The space, which opened quietly over the fall, hosts bring-your-own-beverage (BYOB) painting workshops four times a week.

“It’s a two-hour painting session. All a person needs to bring is themselves and their beverage or snack, and I’m at the front of the room guiding everyone through a painting. We all paint the same thing, but they turn out different, based on personality and ability,” she says.

Participants use acrylic paints to liven up a 16-inch-by-20-inch cotton canvas, which they take home at the end of the night. A calendar on Cobbold’s website shows registrants which painting they’ll be re-creating on a given night. Subjects include whimsical animals, still lifes and landscapes.

For Cobbold, opening Party With Paint has been a “full circle” experience.

“I focused on art in high school, and I was an art major in college, but I changed to business because I didn’t want to be a starving artist. I thought, ‘Oh, this is too risky!’” says the Gilbert resident. “I got married and had kids, and I really didn’t do art for long time. I put it on the back-burner.”

On summer vacation in 2012, Cobbold went to a BYOB painting studio in South Carolina.

“It was that trip, where my friend booked this class for us, that I really remembered, ‘Oh, I love this!’ I couldn’t wait to come home and find a place to do it myself,” she says.

Her endeavor has become a bit of a family affair. Her studio space is part of the hangar that houses her husband’s business, Flight Trails Helicopters. Cobbold is that company’s bookkeeper by day.

Her 23-year-old son helped build Party With Paint’s website, and her 21-year-old daughter returned some help to the artsy mom who volunteered in elementary school classrooms, giving presentations on famous artists and their works.

“She put together hours and hours of music for me, to play while we paint. The whole thing is really relaxing, very therapeutic,” says Cobbold. “I’ve had people who were really nervous and only came because their friend or spouse signed them up for it, but they left feeling glad they had done it. It’s a social thing more than an art thing.”

Party with Paint is at 4805 E. Falcon Drive, Mesa. It offers BYOB painting workshops on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings. The cost is $35 per person, with a $5 discount for seniors and children. A special through January puts the cost at $30 for everyone. For information, call (480) 309-0007 or visit

• Contact writer: (480) 898-6818 or

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