In Broad Strokes

Painting Is Only the Start at Cr8-UR-Canvas

Writer & Photographer / Lois Tomaszewski

Creating art doesn’t have to be intimidating, especially when there is an experienced, trained and encouraging professional to guide the artistic process. Susie Schaetzle is that art professional.

Schaetzle is the owner of Cr8-UR-Canvas in Bourbon. It’s hard to miss her shop, as it’s the bright-yellow painted building on Main Street. Inside her shop she offers a variety of painting experiences, from a Splatter Room to classes in which participants are guided through the creation of a painting.   Cr8-UR-Canvas

The creativity in the name of her shop is reflected in the shop’s decor. A hand-painted, undersea mural and a yellow brick road painted on the floor are just some of the ways Schaetzle infused her artistic abilities into her store.

She studied art in high school but did not pursue any higher education. She has been married for 26 years and her children range in age from 20 to 35. She also has four grandchildren.

She was a stay-at-home mom while her children were little, and when they became older and less dependent on her for their care, Schaetzle began thinking about what she wanted to do.

“I was my husband’s wife and my children’s mother, but I wanted to do something for me,” she says.

She prayed for an answer and kept getting the message “Art.”

“I expected a list of options, not just one word,” she recalls.

It was a friend who sealed the deal on what would become Schaetzle’s art business. This friend’s daughter wanted a painting party for her birthday. Her friend said Schaetzle would be the best person to coordinate it. Although she declined, her friend left Schaetzle no choice when she told her the party was planned and she was the one to do it.

Several painting parties later, and Schaetzle was ready to open a home base. She opened the Cr8-UR-Canvas space in 2019. She still travels to libraries, parks and clients’ homes for personal parties, but her shop space is also available.Cr8-UR-Canvas

Here, would-be artists can paint ceramic pieces, splash a variety of colors on a piece of canvas in the Splatter Room, have a painting party, or take a class and complete a painting in a matter of hours.

This variety in the art medium available at Cr8-UR-Canvas makes the name of the business a bit of a misnomer.

“It’s not canvas like we think – the canvas that is stretched,” Schaetzle says. “The canvas I refer to can be wood, ceramic or traditional canvas.”

Schaetzle has held classes for birthdays and bachelorette parties. Her parties have catered to children as well as adults. She has even hosted employee development classes using painting and creativity as the focus. Private parties need a minimum of six people.

“For a party, the party giver will pick the painting they want everyone to paint, or I can design one for the party,” Schaetzle says.

On occasion, there is someone in the class or party who doesn’t have confidence in their artistic abilities and is hesitant to take part.Cr8-UR-Canvas

“Someone always tells me they can’t draw a stick person,” Schaetzle says. “I tell them that that is good since we aren’t drawing stick people. It takes courage to try something you’ve never done. Art is 85% skill based. That means it can be taught when we do it together.”

She says she has two rules for any of her parties or classes.

“Rule number one is there is no crying,” she says. “There are no tears in painting. Rule number two is to have fun.”

According to her, art is a way for people to experience a different way of looking at the world.

“I help them relax and have peace for a moment,” she says. “If you can find joy here and there, it’s worth it.”

Cr8-UR-Canvas is located at 105 South Main Street in Bourbon. For more information, call 574-498-7425, email Schaetzle at cr8urcanvas@gmail.com, or visit cr8urcanvas.com. Find additional information on Facebook @cr8urcanvas.

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