Subscribe      List an Event or Business      Invite a Writer      Write for WN      Writers      Other Locations
list an event      1 million Australian readers every month      facebook

The Montana Art Project - Paint and Sip

Home > Brisbane > Unusual Things to do | Hobbies | Girls' Day Out | Art | Workshops
by May Cross (subscribe)
I'm a writer, artist and keen photographer.
Published January 22nd 2019
A winning KOMBInation of art and alcohol
kombi, may cross, montana art project, paint and sip, montana, street art, stencil
Montana Art Project Studio (May Cross)

Years ago in Sydney, I saw graffiti on an otherwise non-descript red brick building that simply said: "DO NOT FROLIC." It puzzled me for ages. Why weren't we allowed to frolic if we pleased? Who had painted it on that inner-city wall? And what is frolicking anyway? I wondered if graffiti is meant to be thought-provoking and unexpected. Whether you consider it "uncommissioned art" or illegal vandalism, it has morphed into a movement known as street art.

montana art project, paint and sip, kombi, may cross, montana, street art, stencil
Kombi and Kar (May Cross)

I was invited to the new Montana Art Project's inaugural night of painting "Two Kombies" on a Friday night. If you're not a big fan of those classic Kombi Vans (like me), there are a variety of workshops where you can paint other iconic images. Frida Kahlo and Audrey Hepburn classes have been going since October. Or perhaps you would prefer a class in which you can hand paint your denim jeans and jackets. Fancy '70s retro flower power? Or try your hand at painting your own beach towel.

montana art project, paint and sip, kombi, may cross, montana, street art, stencil
Tutor Stewart Shuker (May Cross)

Flamboyant artist Stewart Shuker greets you on arrival at the Montague Hotel foyer with a glass of bubbles. You can order further drinks from the 'Monty' and also platters of food to share such as chips and pizza. My mate and I shared halloumi fries and nachos. The class was small, almost intimate, so there was plenty of opportunities to ask questions and get one-to-one tuition. The class I attended was a mixed bag of clientele; participants of all ages and types, men and women, from waiters to architectural students to complete art newbies. Stewart told me that he has held a class for Billabong staff as a team building exercise/Christmas party with 70 people. Yes, the studio is big enough (read very spacious) to hold private functions and different class sizes.

montana art project, paint and sip, kombi, rat, may cross, montana, street art, stencil
Ratty Graffiti (May Cross)

Stewart began the class with a brief history of graffiti, stencils and street art. Most people have heard of the anonymous 'Banksy" (if you haven't, check his art and story online). But you may not be aware of the culture and extent of the street art movement. Stewart Illustrated his talk with images of his work and other artists, projected onto the white painted brick wall of the studio.

montana art project, paint and sip, frida, Audrey, may cross, montana, street art, stencil
Frida and Audrey Paintings (May Cross)

He then introduced us to colours and background methods and demonstrated his ideas/information. He even explained what paints and brushes we would use e.g. Matisse paints are local from a lab in Bardon and the spray paints by Ironlak, another local Brissy Co. (I was disappointed when this wonderful company closed their Queen Street Mall art shop - but you can still buy from them online).

As well as using his original three-colour stencil, we learnt dripping, streaking, smudging and blending techniques. Don't worry, you don't have to have any previous art knowledge or experience. Nor do you have to take anything. Everything is provided for you, from the row of black Montana aprons when you enter (which looked like an art installation on the wall) to your PPE (personal protective equipment) for spray painting included gloves and eye protection.

montana art project, paint and sip, kombi, may cross, montana, street art, stencil
Aprons Provided (May Cross)

Stewart tells all his participants that if they don't like their own finished product, they could swap it for one of his. And you can't get fairer than that. He wants all his students to leave happy and he also gets examples of students' work to display if they choose to swap. "And some of it is wacky," he said. Although I really, really wanted one of Stewart's beautiful paintings, I was more than happy to keep my own masterpieces, as were all the others in my class. How good is that?

montana art project, paint and sip, may cross, montana, street art, stencil
Art on Display (May Cross)

Stewart played music throughout the class and had us bopping around as we painted. Artists (musical, not visual) included Bob Marley, Bee Gees, Blondie, Queen and some I couldn't identify. Tango anyone?

montana art project, paint and sip, montana, street art, stencil, may cross
Budding Young Artist (May Cross)

One of my favourite old-time movies, It's a Wonderful Life was inexplicably played on the studio wall. Maybe because it was pre-Christmas? Anyway, there was always plenty of inspiration for all senses.

montana art project, paint and sip, may cross, kombi, montana, street art, stencil
Two Kombis Apiece (May Cross)

Check out the upcoming sessions here.

montana art project, paint and sip, may cross, kombi, montana, street art, stencil
Our Masterpieces (May Cross)
Help us improve  Click here if you liked this article  38
*May Cross was invited as a guest
Share: email  facebook  twitter
Why? Learn new skills
When: See class schedule online
Where: Montague Hotel, Montague Road, West End
Cost: Varies according to class
Your Comment
May you didn't mention the cost for a class. Sounds like a wonderful day
by lockw (score: 2|152) 1580 days ago
Hi, wish I could enjoy this class but ... the room does not have wheelchair access!😕
Cheers, Ruth
by ruths (score: 1|14) 1238 days ago
Articles from other cities
Top Events
Popular Articles