Brisbane Art Shed | West End, Brisbane

BRISBANE, HIT THE STREETS — By on 17/05/2012 1:30 pm
Brisbane Art Shed, West End, BrisbaneShed your creative inhibitions

The flashback is as vivid as the colours on the palette. I’m four years old with my first set of paints. How did they trap a rainbow in a tin? Six cheerful little cakes of colour – blue, red, green, yellow, orange, pink (oh joy! pink!) – ready to dissolve with the caress of a water-dipped brush and become the sun, a house, a flower, a rainbow again.

The memory from toddler-hood bubbles up as I stand in the heart of the Brisbane Art Shed. A fine-arts supply warehouse, it seems, right now, more like a time machine to me: a place to get reacquainted with that kid who once painted with the joyous abandon of Picasso. And that’s precisely the effect that the owners are hoping for. Dr Manny and his wife Meg (he’s a family GP and they’re both passionate artists) have created an inspirational hub for artists of every hue – from the serious professional to the weekend dabbler.

Brisbane Art Shed, West End, Brisbane

The Art Shed sells every conceivable medium for reigniting the creative impulse, from traditional watercolour paints to Western Australian soapstone to electronic art tablets. I especially love the Art Kitchen, a corner of the store where they give you an apron (flashback again to my beloved painting smock of childhood) and set you free to test-drive paints, pencils and crayons on blank paper before you buy.

On weekends, there are free in-store demonstrations where guest artists, ranging from graffiti spray painters to Archibald Prize winners, share techniques and tips. Plus, there’s a busy calendar of hands-on workshops, including casual drop-in classes and multi-week courses. Try traditional life drawing (no booking required, BYO pencil), or master the meditative discipline of Japanese ink painting.

It was Vincent van Gogh who said, ‘If you hear a voice within you saying you are not a painter, then by all means paint – and that voice will be silenced’. To which I reply, hand me that brush: I’ve got a date with a rainbow.

Carole Horne

274 Montague Rd, West End
(07) 3846 1330
Open Mon–Fri 8.30am–6pm, Sat 8.30am–5pm, Sun 10am–4pm

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