Close to home #7 Painting at Cork & Chroma
That old saying “I can’t draw to save myself” definitely applies to me. My artistic flair is meagre and even my stick figures don’t look good. But after an evening spent at Cork & Chroma in South Brisbane, I might need to re-evaluate my opinion of my abilities.
Cork & Chroma is a paint and sip studio. BYO your favourite drinks, put on an apron and be prepared to reveal hidden talents, guided by one of the studio’s resident artists. You don’t need any prior knowledge to join in. The artist leads everyone step by step through the painting process, demonstrating each technique and offering individual advice when it’s needed.
On the Saturday night we visit there are several groups: a hen’s night, a girls’ night out, a few couples and our family gathering of three generations. Blank canvases, full of promise, are set up on our easels. We fill our palettes with acrylic paints, some colours required and others we add as we like. Our glasses are also filled and we’re ready to paint and sip.
Our instructor begins by showing us three techniques for using our paint brushes. We start, mixing colours to create the background of our paintings. At first we’re tentative, but as we begin to fill our canvases with layers of paint we relax and by the time it comes to adding highlights we’re much more free with our brushes.
My rustic scene takes shape. The window comes to life, there’s light and shade on my pot of gardenias and the bicycle leaning against the wall even looks like it’s ready to be ridden.
As our confidence increases so does our willingness to add our own touches to our paintings. There might be more than 30 paintings of the same scene, but not one is identical to another. In one painting a cat suns itself by the wall and a mouse scampers across the ground in another. In my painting, a window box full of pansies takes centre stage.
When our lesson is over, we all gather for a group photo, our paintings proudly displayed as we admire each other’s work. Renoir I’m not, but tonight I’ve created my own masterpiece.
*This story originally appeared in Queensland Smart Farmer Magazine, August/September 2016.