Unfortunately, liquid courage doesn’t make a great artist (as we found out), but that’s not the point at Cork and Canvas’s newest Sydney location. The point is to relax and allow the professionals do the hard work while you enjoy your BYO drinks and nibbles.
The concept of paint and sip has really taken off over the past few years, but Cork and Canvas was the first studio in Australia to pair bubbles and brushes when the craze started in Melbourne in 2013. The cost of a class is $50, which is a little exxy, but you get access to unlimited paints in a class lead by professional artist Ben Walsh. And, let’s be honest, the novelty of having a glass of wine while you paint is probably a one-time spend.
If you’ve never painted before it can be a little daunting, but the organisers have made the process simple. When you arrive, your painting station is already set up with an easel and some primary colours, and all you have to do is don your apron, and set up your wine and cheese. All the cutlery and crockery is provided.
In the Paint Your Mate class, we sit opposite our bestie and paint their portrait in a Picasso-style. The abstract concept was comforting, as there wasn’t the same pressure to make every line perfect. In fact, while we were given guides for possible head shapes and features, it was also made very clear that we could do whatever we wanted, with the goal that the final picture only represented our subject – rather than be a perfect likeness.
Teacher Walsh led the class by painting a fantastic self portrait in the same abstract style to guide us. He told us what to paint next and gave us an explanation on how to do it, then he turned up the music and let Beyoncé inspire our brush strokes.
As hard as it is, the trick is to not compare your work to someone who paints professionally. Luckily the folks at Cork and Canvas have thought of this. They roam around while the class is in session, ready to jump in and help with either suggestions. It is clear though that you have full creative control.
The other sessions run by the studio include the very popular Paint Your Pet, where you send the artists a picture of your pet and they will come up with a guide to help you give your little buddy the portrait they deserve.
The studio is available for parties and company team-building exercises, but feel free to come with a date, a group of friends or fly solo.