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Paint and pints: W’burg bar hosts boozy ‘Joy of Painting’ nights

Happy little paintings: Full Circle Bar co-owners Pete Marinucci and Eric Pavony host the “Joy of Painting and Drinking with Bob Ross” nights, happening on Jan. 15 and 22.
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Go from happy hour to happy little trees!

A Williamsburg bar known for its skee-ball league is celebrating the fine arts! For the next two Mondays, the Full Circle Bar will host “The Joy of Painting and Drinking with Bob Ross,” inviting locals to paint happy little trees while they sip on adult beverages. The popular painting event started at Full Circle’s sister spot in Austin, Texas, said the bar’s co-owner.

“I knew it would work well here,” said Eric Pavony. “Bob Ross — he takes you on a journey!”

The bushy-haired host of the public television show “The Joy of Painting,” which ran from 1983 to 1994, is an inspiring figure that appeals to the nostalgia and creativity in people, said Pavony. And Bob Ross’s show and skee-ball have a deeper connection, he added.

“Bob Ross and skee-ball are both more fun as an adult with a beer in your hand,” he said.

A Bob Ross test-run in November drew about 50 people to the bar, so the organizers created a more low-key series for January. And there might be more sessions coming, said the bar’s other co-owner.

“If the demand is there, we’ll find the time for it,” said Pete Marinucci.

For the night, the bar distributes cheap watercolor sets and paper, and then shows about six episodes of “The Joy of Painting” show, each about 26 minutes long. Pavony asks the crowd to vote by applause which episode they want next, based on titles like “Island in the Wilderness,” or “The Footbridge.”

Full Circle also sells special Bob Ross-themed drinks, including the “Happy Little Cloud,” and “Happy Accident” for $6–$8.

On a recent Monday night, about 15 people packed the bar top and two temporary tables with paint, paper, and drinks, with their eyes going back and forth between their emerging masterpieces and the television above the bar. After each episode, painters proudly displayed their final result, to exuberant applause. At the end of the night, Full Circle hangs leftover paintings over the bar, creating fame for the painter and an advertisement for the next event.

One local painting fan learned about the Bob Ross night when he spotted the hanging landscapes.

“I came in the bar because it was cold, and I saw the paintings over the bar,” said Richard Karsten, a Williamsburg architect. “I said ‘Count me in! I will be there!’ ”

Karsten turned out an near-replica of Ross’s forest scene, but the end product is not what matters, said Pavony — it is the amount of fun that people have making it.

“The different levels of skill each produce the same amount of happiness,” he said.

“The Joy of Painting and Drinking with Bob Ross” at Full Circle Bar (318 Grand St. between Havemeyer Street and Marcy Avenue in Williamsburg, www.fullcirclebar.com). Jan. 15 and 22 at 8 pm. Free.

Reach arts editor Bill Roundy at broundy@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–4507.
Posted 12:00 am, January 12, 2018
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