• 82°

New Nederland studio caters to the artist in all of us

NEDERLAND — The painting of a little pink pig in front of Southern Chique on Boston Avenue can be eye-catching.

A wall of handmade jewelry for sale.

But then again, so is the “ice cold lemonade” painting complete with bright yellow lemons and a glass jug of the summertime drink.

While Megan Cattell, one of Southern Chique owner Deane Spradley’s daughters, painted these, all are welcome to learn how to do it at Southern Chique art boutique, 1228 Boston Ave.

Southern Chique, touted as a new art experience, has open studio time, private lessons, parties, classroom rental, hand-painted décor and custom orders.

Owner Deane, pronounced “Dina,” is not a degreed art teacher, though she has been painting and doing crafts most of her life.

How she got here, what she offers

Spradley opened Curvy Couture, a clothing boutique aimed at plus size women in 2013 in the same location. The trend started to change and toward the end of last year she cut down on inventory and started art classes. Then COVID-19 hit and a lot changed in the business. She finally told her husband she wanted to do something she enjoys, and Southern Chique was born.

The painted Rock Trading Garden allows individuals to paint their own and/or trade it out. A pile of unpainted rocks, not pictured, is to the right.

On a bright day earlier this week Spradley and Cattell were inside the studio with tables and chairs for painting in the middle, walls holding painting supplies and different type canvases, as well as jewelry and more.

Canvases come in a variety of sizes and materials, from regular canvas to solid wood, pallet, picket and cutouts.

Spradley said open studio time is a self-guided, self-paced art experience and there is an option for friends and family in groups of six to 12 to get together and paint. They do not have to pick out the same design.

Customers can also rent the place for a party and bring all of their own supplies. Kids’ parties are also available though parents need to stay.

The studio offers space to rent if someone wants to teach his or her own class and is based on a small hourly fee.

There is also an option where a customer can order a paining and it will be “drop shipped” and include all items needed to create the painting — brushes, paints and a video how-to.

Examples of items to be painted and are for sale.

As the studio kicks off, Spradley wants to engage local high schools and possibly display student art.

“We need to encourage creativity, and that is why we want to show art,” Spradley said.

Cattell is also part of the art world and helps with technological needs and more. She uses Procreate, a graphics program for digital painting for some of her work.

Southern Chique is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and store leaders are considering different hours to meet the needs of the public.

For more information, go to their Facebook page Southern Chique or call 409-724-2040.