Self-taught artist opens painting studio

Melonie McLaurin | Daily Journal Daniel Webb shows off the art bar in his new business, Paint-n-Somethin,’ located in downtown Rockingham. He offers DIY projects, custom art and private painting parties.

Melonie McLaurin | Daily Journal Daniel Webb shows off some of his favorite paintings. The lion over his left shoulder is currently the one he most admires.

ROCKINGHAM — The downtown area has a new art studio that gives people a chance to paint their own pictures during classes, parties and events at local restaurants.

Daniel Webb opened for business “around the middle of April,” but has recently hung his shingle outside the 230 E. Franklin St. space he is renting from a friend.

“I didn’t know what people might think of the name,” Webb said. “But it’s Paint-n-Somethin’ just the way we’d say it around here. People ask what you’re doing and if you’re painting, then you’re paintin’ somethin’.”

The catchy name and Webb’s connections have helped get his venture off the ground. The walls of the former office space are now hung with his paintings, and its center houses a double-sided art bar with stools and supplies close at hand.

Do-it-yourself painting projects have been a hit lately, with classes offered at Arts Richmond and taught by Susan Perkins there and at other venues. Webb offers a similar experience to would-be artists who might not have the confidence to go it alone.

“That’s sort of how I got started,” he said. “I do the DIY projects where everyone paints the same picture, but I also have ones where everyone is doing their own thing. I did one last Saturday night where everybody was painting something different. That’s really fun and it’s mostly just me going over them one at a time.”

A teacher at Anson High School in Wadesboro, Webb enjoys the experience of helping people discover they can do something they thought they would never learn to do. Though he has never had any formal training in art, he said he always loved drawing and painting as a kid.

“I took one painting class,” he said. “And that was oil. So I’ve done really a lot of acrylics in the past year and learned a lot about them. I have kids classes here on Saturdays. I’ve asked Discovery Place if I could come and do classes there and they said no one had ever asked, so I still haven’t heard back from that yet. I’ve done one at Pat’s Kitchen and one at Hudson Brothers Deli. I like that. It’s real nice, going upstairs on the old boards with all that atmosphere.”

Webb said a lot of people don’t realize he’s open yet and hopes folks will notice now that his sign is up. He’s planning to arrange a ribbon-cutting ceremony at a future date.

He said his favorite age group to work with is middle-aged people.

“Especially when we do one at the winery,” he said. “Because they’re drinking a little bit, they open up and have a good time. I haven’t done very many kids’ classes, but I enjoy the kids. I have a 4-year-old.”

Webb said the amount he charges for DIY projects and private parties is just enough to cover the cost of materials.

“I just do it because I love to do this,” he said. “I think when word gets out and more people know I’m here, I’m hoping things will pick up to where I can profit. I knew I had to have something, a place for people to see. Paying rent, it’s a little tricky to make a profit.”

Webb did a graduation party last Saturday night at a private home and said it was a success, and that he hopes to eventually gain enough attention that he won’t have to rely on a storefront.

“I’d like to travel around to all the restaurants, give the private parties,” he said. “But people have to know about me first. So I’m not as worried about profit as I am breaking even and making a name for myself right now.”

For more information, call 910-331-5585 or visit

Reach reporter Melonie McLaurin at 910-817-2673 and follow her on Twitter @meloniemclaurin.