Authored by Abby Eastman, Director, Events & Communications

About two weeks ago our CEO, Susan Davis, notified the SDI staff that we should expect a package in the mail in the next week or so. In the midst of this unpredictable and stressful time, none of us knew what to expect. The anticipation was killing me.

The following week Susan shed some light on the surprise – we would be receiving a canvas, set of paint brushes, and acrylic paints delivered right to our door. Was I supposed to don a beret and paint like Picasso during work hours?

In fact, that was exactly the plan – a virtual “Paint and Sip Party” via Zoom was scheduled for Tuesday, March 31st.

At 4:59 PM I sat anxiously awaiting the arrival of my coworkers on my computer screen – and I’m not going to lie, I was a bit excited. This was the most creative invitation I’ve ever received from a boss and I didn’t even have to change out of my pajama pants. What a win win.

During the hour-long “more sipping, less painting” party we all joked about whose masterpiece would be best and worst, and Susan shared an early clue that her painting would be “very impressionistic.” One of our colleagues shrieked that she had accidentally dipped her paint brush in her wine glass…twice!

We all displayed our “works of art” to the group and we were pleasantly surprised by the skills and creativity of our colleagues!

The virtual paint and sip was an engaging and creative activity for our staff, and we also learned new things about each other. Some of us enjoy red wine over white, some are creative cocktail baristas,  we have artists in the group, and our colleague Tom is the most prepared of us all for the pandemic challenges as he showed up for the party in a full handmade faux hazmat suit. Splash painting was involved.

In short, I’m basically a wannabe Picasso, a good time was hand by all, but none of us should quit our day jobs.