The married mother of two says she knew art was going to be a huge part of her life as soon she opened her first box of crayons. "I realized I could capture a sunset or draw all the beautiful trees surrounding me," Yoes says. "Most children enjoy coloring and creating 'masterpieces,' and I was hooked from my very first sketch."
Yoes signed up for every available art class she could between her K-12th-grade years in school, eventually persuing a Fine Arts degree and graduating from LSU in 2001.
Yoes's first love of black and white charcoal portraits grew once she realized all that she could create with color and from painting. "People often tell me I have a very vibrant personality, so I enjoy bringing that out in my paintings," Yoes said.
The artist spent many years solo inside her studio but was determined to find a way to combine her love of art, painting and people, and that's when pARTy at Your Place, a mobile paint business, was born.
Initially, pARTy at Your Place was just for friends and with friends, but in 2010 it became official, and Yoes was packing up canvases, brushes and paints and taking art on the road.
Soon companies began hiring Yoes to come to their location to orchestrate paint parties for friends and customers.
Buzz 'N' Bee in Clinton has a regular standing appointment with Yoes, and Don Lyn Florist in Zachary will have Yoes lead its paint party on Friday, March 8. Attendees will be painting a Pelican at Sunset.
Recently, Yoes and pARTy at Your Place headed to Nottoway Plantation to teach 50 eighth-graders how to paint their very own canvas.
She also may have held one of the largest paint parties ever when she was responsible for 125 Delta Gamma sorority girls as they painted their own creations.
"Teaching art to children and adults and seeing them discover their own talent and creativity has been immensely rewarding," says Yoes. "I love it when I get an e-mail from a student who has just returned from purchasing all the supplies a budding artist might need."
Yoes is quick to point out that pARTy at Your Place is not a paint-by-numbers operation. Participants pick all their own colors and can draw their own subjects. "My job is to guide and encourage my students to find their inner artist," said Yoes.
Yoes will bring the paint, brushes, canvases, chairs and tables - all that you would need to host your own party inside your business or home. At least six people are required for a paint party. "I really want to make it simple for people to have a paint party. I want people to have fun with art and let go of their inhibitions and really get into it."
Focusing on landscape art using acrylics is now Yoes' favorite medium, and she has seen much success with that particular style.
Her work has been used for the past two years as the backdrop for the annual Zachary Arts & Music Festival posters.
She feels that the paint parties at local businesses provide an opportunity for business owners to meet their customers, and they have about three hours to hold a nice conversation. It also provides an opportunity for the business to feature specific products on the night of the party.
Besides pARTy at Your Place, Yoes will begin another venture called The Art Club in April, where she will be teaching art to kids ages 6 - 16 inside her home studio.
Classes will be one month in duration and held every Tuesday from 4:30 - 6 p.m. "Each month that the kids sign up, there will be a different art project, or they can choose to paint or create whatever they'd like," Yoes said. "This is an after-school opportunity to just play in art!"
Class size is limited to 10 students and costs $80 per month to attend. A registration fee of $25 is required, but once you join/register with The Art Club, you're always a member.
The Art Club will meet at Yoes Studio, located at 3538 Hancock St. in Zachary. Parents can drop their kids off - and stay if they'd like - or arrange for them to take the bus there after school.
Kids receive a free t-shirt and sketch pad when they register or join. Classes will be held every month of the year except June and July.
"Being able to connect with each student during class is very important. Answering questions or even demonstrating how to hold a brush, helps in the process for non-artists to feel comfortable around these materials they have no experience with," said Yoes. "Once you leave my class you will feel very confident and proud of your masterpiece."
In addition, Yoes has been instrumental in jumpstarting the art scene in Zachary by helping to organize the very first art walk in July 2011. She is also a member of the Zachary Artist Guild and the Regional Arts Council of Zachary.
Both organizations have ignited passion for art within the Zachary community.
To contact Courtney Yoes about The Art Club or a pARTy at Your Place, call 225-288-3772, e-mail email@example.com or visit her newly launched website at partyatyourplacela.com.
Also visit pARTy at Your Place on Facebook.
Yoes is a Chamber Ambassador and proud member of the Zachary Chamber of Commerce.