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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Artsy date ideas for the most romantic gestures to woo your Valentine

Jordan Tovin | Photographer
Sketching a loved one can unlock a new appreciation for their beauty. Study their contours and stare deeply into their eyes as you put pencil to paper and let passion take over your artist’s hand.

Let’s face it, the last-minute trip to the drug store to pick up a heart-shaped box of chocolates and wilting roses won’t cut it if you’re looking to create lasting memories on Valentine’s Day.

To elevate your date beyond the usual ritual of flowers and dinner, organizing a crafty activity will bond you and your Valentine with an appreciation for the beauty of romance that a work of art can capture. From painting in pairs to a joint jewelry-making project, we’ve compiled artsy date ideas that will create a lasting symbol of love with your person to make it all the more memorable.

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Paint with passion
For a post-dinner activity, grab some brushes and your favorite color of pastels to get to know one another over the easel. Once your work is complete, your painting will embody both your hard work and remind you of a special Valentine’s Day.

The District offers a spot that combines painting classes with cocktails and wine. Allure Bar & Lounge on the H Street Corridor is hosting romantic “Sip and Paint” events throughout February for couples to decompress with a little wine and pour their heart into art.

If you want to stay in and go at your own pace, set up a romantic still life, complete with red, white and pink bouquets of flowers and fruits. Or if you still desire some at-home guidance, look no further than the stylings of Bob Ross. Consider his tutorial in Season 3 Episode 10, where he instructs viewers to paint a glowing crimson campfire, the perfect visualization of your burning love for one another.

Hopping off the canvas, painting pottery is also a great way to put some artsy flare on your special date. At All Fired Up in Cleveland Park, patrons can paint resculpted pottery in their studio space or bring home a bundle of pottery, brushes and paint for $27.99.

Allure Bar & Lounge will host “Sip and Paint” Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. through February. Tickets can be found here

Sketch your heart out
Even if you don’t consider yourself an artist, sketching a loved one can unlock a new appreciation for their beauty. Study their contours and stare deeply into their eyes as you put pencil to paper and let passion take over your artist’s hand.

Take a notebook and some pencils down to the National Mall and sketch your date on a notepad next to some monuments. Who doesn’t look better with the iconic D.C. skyline behind them? Reward your hard work with a treat from the wide variety of vendors that surround the Mall.

Wander through the galleries of the National Gallery of Art to find some inspiration to get started sketching. Consult French artists from 18th-century Rococo art movements on the Main Floor of the West Building, especially The Love Letter by François Boucher and The Swing by Jean Honoré Fragonard.

National Gallery of Art. Open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free. Find more information here.

The joy of jewelry
If a tennis bracelet is outside of your price range this year and a macaroni necklace reads a little déclassé, it might be time to pull out the pliers. Serving as both an activity and gift-making, jewelry that comes from the heart is bound to pry open the heart of your Valentine, so take your shot at welding chain links to make a chic bracelet.

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Bead necklaces or bracelets will serve as a multicolored fashion statement and a special reminder of you with every wear – not to mention the added bonus of not breaking the bank. Many DIY jewelry kits include beads with signs and letters to spell your name or attach a short message.

Amazon sells kits with red, white and pink beads in case you don’t have the necessary tools on hand. The site also has options that contain all the gadgets you need, like pliers and glue. Feel free to branch outside of the typical Valentine’s Day colors and create a piece that can be sported year-round.

Attach a “love lock” to the Francis Scott Key Memorial Bridge

When trying to capture the essence of a passionate bond, there is no one better to turn to than the French – home to the language of love and its long history of passionate romantic literature. In Paris, the so-called City of Love, there are more than a million engraved padlocks attached to the Pont des Arts bridge, commemorating the unbreakable bonds of the many who have traversed it.

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With all the French-inspired architecture littered throughout D.C., it is no surprise that the District is home to a similar bridge with its very own “love locks.” Take a romantic stroll to the Francis Scott Key Memorial Bridge, connecting Georgetown to Arlington, Virginia, and you may spot a few similar locks affixed to the metal handrails. Once you’ve attached your lock, eat like the Parisians and grab a romantic dinner in Georgetown at French bistro Chez Billy Sud and dessert at macaron shop Ladurée.

Creating these locks are simple – all you need is a padlock and something sharp, like a key or pocket-knife to engrave you and your Valentine’s initials into it. Red heart-shaped padlocks can be found on Amazon. If you’re looking for a preengraved lock, look no further than Etsy, where you can add a short message in addition to names or initials.

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