A Melbourne based writer who is a travel junkie, dedicated foodie and emerging photographer.
Published July 14th 2019
Paint up a storm
Walking into Storyville for the first time is a little like being transported into your favourite fantasy story, with draping branches and mushrooms and colourful lights greeting you as you walk up the stairs. I was a first timer to Storyville, so it was a delight to walk in and see a fairy tale bar, complete with a giant mushroom towering over it like an umbrella. Storyville does a great line in fantasy cocktails (happily the alcohol is real enough); imagine Harry Potter inspired cocktails, complete with magic dust and smoke, or Alice in Wonderland themed cocktails served in a teapot and you'll be on the right track.
The beautiful mushroom bar at Storyville
I could say a lot more about Storyville, but that is not actually the subject of this article. However it was the venue for the activity I attended - Tipples and Tints, an art teacher led painting session.
For this session, the class took over the entire second floor of Storyville. This is a fairly long, narrow space. Our teacher, Liam Waldie, was at the front of the room. On one side of him was the 'completed' artwork, on the other - at the outset anyway, his blank 'canvas'. We 'students' sat down each side of long tables, a canvas on an easel in front of us, and a palette with a basic set of primary coloured acrylic paints, plus three brushes and water, nearby.
The art class in progress
This was a two hour session in which Liam took us from blank canvas to a completed artwork which was ours to take home. In keeping with the venue, the theme was Harry Potter-esque, complete with the Sorting Hat and the Snitch. We found Liam to be patient, clear and methodical in his approach, as well as friendly and warm in manner - all good characteristics in a teacher! While students had noticeably different painting styles, everyone seemed to follow the instructions well, and to produce a piece of art to be proud of.
The art theme changes each week, and Liam mentioned that he hopes to work his way through the entire book 'collection' that decorates the walls of the bar. That could take some time!
The session costs $59 (plus booking fee), which includes all materials, and your choice of a cocktail from the Storyville bar.
Bar staff wandered through a few times during the session, so you can purchase drinks and sip them while painting (just don't get your drink and your paint water confused!). There are also jaffles available to purchase if you work up an appetite.
I'm sure you're wandering how I went with my painting - so here's the photographic evidence:
My artwork (left) versus Liam's creation
This was a thoroughly enjoyable activity and highly recommended. In this digital age, there is something very satisfying about the sensation of brush on canvas, and the creation of 'analog' art, where there is no 'edit/undo' function. Painting is absorbing and has an almost meditational quality to it.
Tipples and Tints is fun regardless of your artistic skill. It would be great to grab a bunch of friends and have a few laughs - very suitable for a birthday activity or a hen's party.
The sessions take place at various times, so please check the website for details. The next session is scheduled for 6.30pm on Friday 19th July 2019.
Storyville is located at 185 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne.
The images in this article were taken by the writer.