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Published April 7th 2014
Are You Game to Release Your Inner Artist
Unleash your creativity with a glass of bubbly (or any other drink of your choice), all whilst creating your very own masterpiece in a fun group of friends! Sounds good. Welcome to Cocktails and Canvas.
Your journey into your own inner Van Gogh begins in the back alleys of Puckle lane, Moonee Ponds. You will find a small door that is the entrance into a tiny tucked away place which looks more like a French secret boudoir than an art gallery. However that just seems to add to the interest in this great location.
Ascending the stairs, you will arrive at a huge red door and be welcomed into a lovely bright open art space.
Included in the cost of your event is a small canvas, however, if your Monet requires something larger, you can upgrade to a larger canvas for $2 to $3.
Canvas in arm you will be escorted to your artist's chair, where the fun begins.
Melinda and Michael guide you through the fun and the techniques
Surrounded by art in such an amazing space, you can't help but be uplifted and think that maybe it's possible for even a complete beginner like you (well okay - like me) to create something fabulous.
Some of the students and artists works available for sale. (Maybe you could take one of these home if yours didn't work out - No it will all be fine in the end!
Some of the events are rather regimented in style, where everyone will paint the same thing (I personally like this as when confronted by a wide range of pictures I must admit I went into option anxiety and when it was explained to me that we would all doing the same painting I heaved a great sigh of relief and was able to focus just on how I wished to individualise my painting with my own colour choice). With other events, you have a lot more personal choice in what you are creating. This is all decided by the calendar of events when you booking, so you know exactly which one you are choosing before you arrive.
Platters of food add to the fun and can be purchased.
Your tutor for the event will lead you through a series of techniques; demonstrating on stage for everyone to see. For the event that I attended, Michael was the tutor, and he is an absolute treasure of a man. With an infectious smile and a witty sense of humour, he laughed and giggled with us as we all created our own art pieces. A talented artist in his own right, we were inspired by some of Michael's previous paintings as he made it all look rather easy and encouraged us to follow along step-by-step.
Halfway through some of my group had decided in their minds that they really didn't like what they were creating and it didn't look that great. Michael convinced us us to hang in there saying "it will all come together in the end" and he was correct.
With a wink in his eye, he then suggested that if you get yourself into a bit of a pickle to take a break from your art, drink some champagne, eat some nibblies, walk around the room and have a look at what others are creating. He suggested that we be inspired by what others were doing, to look at the way they were handling their brushstrokes, (then jokingly perhaps) just gloat on how much better your painting looks then that other persons, then to come back to your own art piece and continue on.
In the middle of your event you can order nibblies, coffee, tea, soft drinks and wine. It is certainly lovely to just sit back in a wonderfully dedicated art space, sip on a glass of Moscato, enjoy the ambience and experience the freedom and the peace of just being in a room filled with other people who are all here for fun and expressing their own creativity.
The lovely and bubbly Melinda runs most of the events here and will delight you with a cheerful smile and beautiful little aprons, looking after your every need whilst making sure everyone here has a great time.
The events cost
$35 on the weekend and $42 on Friday and Saturday evenings which, includes your canvas, your paints and full tutoring.
Coffee and soft drink begin at $3, most glasses of wine or alcohol are around $8 per glass, beer is also available. A platter of cheese, crackers and fruit is $10 and enough to share between two or three people. In the evenings they can also order in from the Vietnamese restaurants across the road if you desire.
The events they hold include the popular class which I attended. They also have mothers and daughters evenings, children's parties, school holiday programs, couples nights and you can book the entire art space for your own private event.
Come alone or with friends:
Many of the ladies that I spoke to in my event came along with a group of 7 or 8 friends and told me that they do this regularly; about once every month for a fun girls time away together. Some of the women had travelled from the country areas to come and share a lovely experience with their girlfriends. One group of people in my event were university students who were using the event as part of their folio of work.