“I’ve hosted a couple of anniversary parties,” Fung says. “But birthdays are the big ones.” Class attendance is a good mixture of young people and the old.
“I have a lot of retirees that are looking for something to do every night,” he says. “Sometimes in my class, I have teenagers, as long as they are not too young and they are not drinking. My eldest client rolls in sitting in a wheelchair and paints the same as everyone else.”
Fung says some wives are able to convince their husbands to come along to the class to join in the fun. He says each class has a specific painting and actual instruction.
“It’s a painting I’ve done,” he says. “So I know how to teach it. I really do try and teach painting technics. I try to teach how and why.”
The classes are fun, but they are effective in helping clients learn how to paint. Fung says a couple of his clients have now started painting outside of the classes and they apply the newly learned techniques to their daily work.
“My class can be fun, but I’m trying to get people to learn real artistry and technique that they can use in the future,” he says. “There are so many people that always have an interest in painting, but I have some people come in who are artists in their own right, in photography or woodworking.”
His clients have varied backgrounds – one is a dentist who works in the minuscule, so when she comes to a class, Fung says she likes to throw paint around on the canvas.
Fung has been teaching Wine and Design classes for about four years. He taught in Suniland and West Palm Beach before the Falls. He has a Master’s Degree in education and has been a teacher. He likes being able to teach – especially since he doesn’t have to grade anyone’s work. While he enjoys teaching, his clients enjoy the classes.
“I had a group of 10 geneticists from the University of Miami,” he says. “They were the most rowdy bunch of students I ever had. They had a great time.”
Fund says the concept of wine painting parties started half a dozen years ago in North Carolina.
“It definitely has been growing, there are franchises now,” he says. “The only thing I try to do is separate myself because I really try to teach.”
Fund says he makes the painting challenging, but still makes it easy enough for a beginner to participate. He goes through it step-bystep.
“This is the reason we put down this color first. This is why this is second,” he says. “Some of my students had never painted in their lives; now they show me their work on the phone saying, ‘Look what I painted!’”
The Wine and Design classes are held monthly and the next session is scheduled for May 8.
When he’s not painting or teaching classes, Fung displays his work in art shows. He also works with hotels in Miami and Miami Beach.
“I travel all over Florida,” he says. “As far west I go is New Orleans and my north boundary is Atlanta.”
For more information or to buy a ticket, go to PhilFung.com.