Jessee Siegel was the owner and teacher of Booze ‘n’ Brushes, a mobile painting party company. Siegel died from flu complications at the end of February. (COURTESY PHOTO)
Few people have that rare infectious positive energy that can turn around someone’s day. But Booze ‘n’ Brushes owner and teacher Jessee Siegel was one of those people to those Kemmerer residents lucky enough to know her.
Jessee started Booze ‘n’ Brushes, a mobile painting party that traveled across Wyoming and Oklahoma, hosting events at local bars, restaurants and businesses.
On February 25, Jessee, just 32 years old, died from complications of the flu. Her sudden and quiet passing came as a shock to family and friends. She left behind her loving husband Tim and four young children.
Kemmerer was privileged to have several of Siegel’s painting parties here for years.
Local animal shelter Paws and Claws and the Muley Fanatic Foundation hired Jessee for fundraisers.
Booze ‘n’ Brushes was the Siegel family’s only source of income. When the news reached Jessee’s friends in Kemmerer, it wasn’t long before everyone got together to plan a fundraiser to benefit the Siegel family.
The fundraiser celebrating Jessee’s life will consist of dinner, painting and a silent auction.
“I couldn’t not do something after hearing the news,” said Shalee Kilpack of Kemmerer.
Kilpack met Jessee three years ago at a painting party and they instantly became friends. Their friendship grew stronger over time.
Kilpack started planning the event right after Jessee’s death, with the help of many others in town.
Anyone who attended one of Jessee’s painting events always went home with so much more than just a painting. Jessee’s positive energy, charming wit and kindness had a lasting effect on all the friends who attendeed her classes. They say she had a special gift of spreading love and happiness to anyone she encountered.
Kemmerer resident Linda Goetz met Jessee through planning fundraisers to raise money for Paws and Claws.
“Jessee always increased the percentage she turned over to the shelter because it was for the animals,” Goetz said. “My strongest memory that I have of Jessee is how alive she was. She lived every day to the fullest and always had fun.”
Goetz continued to share how Jessee’s evenings of painting inspired many others to take or teach painting lessons.
“Jessee’s legacy will live on through our collective memories of her and the appreciation of creating art that she instilled in so many people,” Goetz said.
Kemmerer, like many other small towns that Jessee traveled through with her events, doesn’t have much to offer for nightlife.
Siegel’s evenings of painting gave everyone a chance to get out and have fun with friends, creating a strong bond within the community. Attendees said Jessee had the power to unite everyone in the room. Even if you had never held a paint brush before, Jessee’s easy-to-follow instructions and unwavering patience made it exciting for all.
Kemmerer residents enjoy one of Jessee Siegel’s Booze ‘n’ Brushes events in November 2017. This event was a fundraiser for the Muley Fanatics Foundation. An event to benefit Jessee’s family will be held at the Eagles in Kemmerer on Saturday, April 14. (COURTESY PHOTO)
Her goal was always to have fun. She would have trivia questions, fun games and lots of jokes that kept the evening packed with laughter. Jessee would call out random items to the crowd, and class members who had that item would win a prize. Those who knew Jessee said this was one way she used her talent to bring people together. For example, she would ask if anyone was carrying a picture of their children in their purse. With today’s technology, not many people carry actual photographs around anymore, so it was a long shot.
Kilpack was one of those people. She too had attended a party and was asked for a photo, which she didn’t have the first time around. Kilpack was prepared the next time at a Booze N Brushes event.
“I still keep that picture in my purse because of her,” Kilpack said. “She had a way of teaching us all to appreciate life to the fullest and cherish moments with your loved ones. If you knew her, you loved her and she loved you back.”
Jessee’s generosity was well-known. She was also responsible for putting on fundraisers and other events for the Frontier Arts Council and Chamber of Commerce.
Kemmerer resident Laura O’Brien reflects on her friendship with Jessee.
“I knew Jessee for about three years,” O’Brien said. “Jessee was extremely generous, all the time. I got to know her when I first booked her to do a fundraiser for Paws and Claws.”
O’Brien recalls that once while Jessee was staying the night at her house following one of the painting nights, they were helping some friends fill eggs for an Easter Egg hunt.
“She kept throwing 5s, 10s and 20s in the eggs,” O’Brien said. “We had planned to just fill them with candy, but she said the kids would be so excited to find the cash. She was right. They were.”
No matter who you talk to about Jessee, you always get the same message — she brought happiness wherever she went, spreading smiles, laughter and love.
Given Jessee’s legacy, it’s not a surprise to see the overwhelming assistance that many local business and residents have donated to this fundraiser.
Tickets are still available for $45 per person. The ticket includes a dinner donated by Tumbleweeds of Evanston and an instructional painting class. Tickets for just the dinner are $10.
Doors open at 6:00 p.m. and painting will start at 6:30. The silent auction bids will be open until 8:00 p.m.
Jessee Siegel (right) was the owner and teacher of Booze ‘n’ Brushes. Siegel died in February from flu complications. She was a friend to many in Kemmerer who had taken her painting classes. A dinner, painting session and silent auction organized by locals to benefit Jessee’s husband and sons (pictured) will be held at the Eagles in Kemmerer on Saturday, April 14. (GAZETTE PHOTO)
Local Kemmerer artist Kristen Crosland has volunteered to teach the painting class will be featuring a “tree of life” painting, which is perfect as a symbol of Jessee’s memory.
The Kemmerer High School art department donated all the paint brushes for the event. All of the proceeds from this event will go directly to the Siegel family.
If you would like to help support Jessee’s family and cannot attend the event in Kemmerer on April 14, you can still make a donation. at First National Bank in Kemmerer, which has a donation account set up under “Paint Jessee with Love” or donate at youcaring.com/jessandherfamily-1103213.
To purchase tickets for Saturday’s event contact Shalee Kilpack at 801-915-8134 or Laura O’Brien at 307-877-2229.