An evening at Cork & Chroma is simple in theory: you bring you favourite bottle of wine and, in between sips and socialising, a local artist instructs you step by step through an original piece of art. You learn the basic techniques of painting on canvas and get to take home your masterpiece (and a new-found talent!).
In practice, it was like unearthing that childhood creativity when skies could be purple and trees could be red and nothing mattered because it was Art!
Sipping an opening night treat of champagne provided by Cork & Chroma's director, Hillary Wall, I indulged my creative side and mingled with fellow art-enthusiasts.
I came with a friend and we were running late. But the surge of enthusiasm and hospitality that enveloped us when we entered the studio made us feel welcome and confident.
There were paints, brushes, easels, aprons, glassware, and two 40x50cm canvases waiting for us.
The evening's in-house artist, Anna Straker, sent a vibrant energy around the room. She guided us through a painting of a decorated skull the ones you'd find at Spanish Day of the Dead celebrations, signifying the joys of life and honouring ancestors.
And the best and most important thing was that there was no right or wrong. Some people's skulls were big, others were small, some were feminine and some were completely different colours to the example piece.
But all were fantastic, and there were lots of 'ooohs and wows' as people wondered around throughout the evening to check out each other's work.
At the end of the session, I commuted home with my painting and whole lot of pride.
Chicago-born Hillary said she started up the studio because there wasn't anything quite like it in Australia. Back in America, she'd fallen in love with the concept and created a similar experience with her friends from university.
"We grow up with this idea that there are things we can't do," she said.
But one night at Cork & Chroma, and even the self proclaimed "talentless" will create a masterpiece to take home.
A few things to note:
Seating is limited, so bookings are highly recommended.
Wine is BYO, and snacks and nibbles are available to buy.
Aprons are provided, but I'd advise wearing something comfortable that you don't mind getting a little bit of paint on (just in case).
You don't have to paint exactly what the artist says to paint. Also, you can check out example paintings online and book the session dedicated to the artwork that you'd like to paint.
You must be 18 or older to attend Cork & Chroma's night sessions. But the studio will occasionally have Family Paint afternoons so keep an eye on the calendar.
A final word from me Cork & Chroma's posters say: Drink. Paint. Just don't drink the paint. Humorous, yes. But it's also important to bear this in mind because it's all too easy to dip your paint in your wine (I almost did this a several times)or take a sip of your brush-cleaning water when you're concentrating on your artwork.
And a final word from Pablo Picasso:It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.