Different Strokes

Some people are intimidated by art, or I should say by creating art. Although I took art classes in high school, the last time my brush was loaded with paint, it was to transform my bathroom with metallic horizontal stripes — a job almost as tedious as stripping off the 40-year-old wallpaper. I was thinking then, the next time I get the urge to be creative with a palette and brush, I should pick a smaller canvas. So I registered for a night of Canvas and Cocktails at Studio Slant in Owensboro, Ky. The cocktails portion of the evening sounded like the right ingredient to let go of my inhibitions about painting the perfect picture.

The Scoop
Located in Downtown Owensboro, Studio Slant is owned by Christy and Travis Chaney and is an art gallery and handmade boutique. The space is divided into two areas: A retail side featuring handmade works of art such as paintings, pottery, and jewelry, and a gallery space which regularly features guest artists.

Upon entering, the gallery is set up in a semi-circle of canvases on easels awaiting would-be artists to recreate the night’s featured painting. Our instructor, Laura Laney Jones, had previously painted a whimsical setting sun with a silhouetted bird sitting on a branch. We were encouraged to interpret the painting in our own style. Fortified with wine I brought, I selected one of the brushes and followed her lead. (Studio Slant does not sell alcohol, but patrons of the event are welcome to bring their own.) At first, I was apprehensive when my painting didn’t look like the sample, but then I realized this was the time to let go and channel my inner Vincent Van Gogh. It wasn’t long before I was completely comfortable swirling and mixing the colors into my own style.

The Verdict
I am so used to clicking the computer mouse to “create” things, that the freedom of letting my hands guide my vision was refreshing. I can see why there were several groups of friends gathered to enjoy each other’s company while doing a little pampering of the soul. According to Studio Slant’s curator, Katherine Taylor, the first Canvas and Cocktails was held for a Junior League of Owensboro event. “Everyone had such a great time, we decided to open it up to the public,” says Taylor. “It was a happy accident.”

Need to Know
Canvas and Cocktails is offered every month to the general public, and it also holds private parties requiring a minimum of 10 participants. Cost is $45 per person for either. The kid-friendly Canvas and Cupcakes is also once a month on Saturdays. The $30-per-child event includes all materials, an artist instructor, snacks, and drinks while they paint.

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/studioslant or call 270-684-3570.

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