Sunday, September 2, 2012

Corks & Canvas: Montgomery, AL

Because Alexander City was pretty small, my initial search for things to do expanded as far as Birmingham and Montgomery, both almost an hour away.  I stumble upon the website for Corks & Canvas in Montgomery and decide to check it out.

I make a reservation for the last night I am in the area, Thursday.  This is simpler for me since I don't have to be anywhere other than the airport in the morning.  The class isn't until 7 so I have plenty of time to get there after finishing class with my customer.

Which is helpful since the GPS decides to send me down this road after leaving my customer's office later than I intended.
My plan is to grab fast food on the way but after my detour I am afraid I will be late.  It starts to rain about halfway there which also doesn't help.  I arrive with only about 5 minutes to spare.  Fortunately there is a place next door where I can get a water and a cold pasta salad that they will let me eat during class.
I was familiar with the idea of Corks & Canvas because we have similar places here in the Dallas area.  Basically, you have an instructor in the front who walks you step-by-step through a painting.  Everyone here will paint the same painting.  Of course they don't look identical as each person will mix their paint a little different and apply the technique of that step differently.  And of course there is the issue of natural talent.
This class consists of about 10 women (no men) and as usual, I am the only one here alone.
I chose a seat on the back row between two mother-daughter groups.  I won't be needing that wine glass.  I assumed the corks part meant wine but I also assumed they provided.  It is actually BYOB.  The woman to my left offers me some of hers but I don't like wine anyway and have to drive back to Alex City all alone and in the dark and there may be dirt roads involved.
This our instructor Devon starting step 1.  The painting she is teaching is hanging on the red wall though it doesn't look like the image on the website (I think it was called Summer Poppies).  She addresses this and that we will try for a more abstract look like the image on the web.  She encourages people to relax.
After step 1.
After step 2.
A few steps later, some of the ladies are starting to stress.  They stress over the color (it doesn't look like Devon's), they stress over the next step.  She continues to encourage people to just let it happen and not worry so much.  In this step we are supposed to let the green drip down.  How much dripping, how many drips?
After the dripping we flip it over.  The drips will become the stems of our flowers.
Adding my flowers.  I am taking Devon's advice and not worrying too much.  I have a tendency to be a perfectionist at times but I try really hard to let that go here and just enjoy the process.  Devon walking behind me and complimenting my piece helps.  She says things to me that she doesn't say to the others so it is easier to believe her.
The finished piece.  Not museum quality but all-in-all, I liked the outcome. 
My stress level is zero.
I would do this again if I liked the example painting and the more abstract, the better.  It is still raining when I leave and I am starving.  I didn't each much of the pasta, just enough to not be hungry, so I drive through McDonald's across the street before beginning the hour drive to the hotel.
There are only 4 cars in the drive-thru but I am there a LONG time.  I am not exaggerating...I listened to Hotel California by the Eagles and American Pie by Don McLean without ever moving at all.  I would have gotten out of line but I already placed my order.  Finally I get my fish sandwich which is different here than at McDonald's back home because:
Truthfully, I am too tired and too hungry to care and assume the answer is one I wouldn't be happier knowing.
I do manage to drive back without repeating the dirt road which is good because it is really dark out here on these remote 2-lane highways.  At one point, I see a deer on the side of the road but luckily she runs back into the woods.  Later, I see a bunny hopping away from the road.  I am a little wary now that an animal is going to surprise me and I slow down.  No need to hurry, there is no one behind me. 
Until there is.  I speed up a little when someone gets behind me and refuses to pass.  And that's when it happens.  A possum in the road.  I try to miss him (can't cross the line, a car is coming) but I feel him hit the underside of the car.  I am so upset and drive so slow the car behind me finally goes around.  I am glad they do too because later there is another deer.  
Sadly, now my painting is tainted.  It is no longer "the poppies I painted in Montgomery".  It is now known as the: "the day I killed the possum driving back from Montgomery painting". 
My stress level when I reach the hotel?  Off the charts.


  1. your painting is beautiful! :D im impressed!

    1. You are too sweet! Funny thing is, my shoulder was sore the next morning from all of those big brushstrokes.

  2. I don't think our dog Kiwi had any undue stress the year she killed 14 possoms (possi?) and a raccoon. The painting was worth it, though... I agree with Amanda.

  3. Thank you for that. The painting part, not the image of your dog mauling possi.