Do you have formal training, are you self-taught or a bit of both?
My earliest memory of painting was at the age of five. I sat down at the table with my big seven year old Brother, Michael, and painted … of all things …. a seascape! Even at that young age … my brother was the Artist!
Throughout my life I was convinced I couldn’t paint. Instead I used my creativity to make clothes and numerous other craft activities. It wasn’t until I was married with two young children, at the age of 34 that I decided to attend an art class. I’d started trying to draw portraits … as you do when you first start out (not) and wanted a bit of ‘me’ time.
So off I toddled on my first art adventure … to Dobell House at Wangi on the shores of the beautiful Lake Macquarie in NSW, Australia. The home and studio of the late Sir William Dobell, one of Australia’s most famous painters, was very inspirational.
I completed 10 weeks of drawing tuition and stopped attending once the watercolours and paintbrushes were introduced. It took me over 20 years to make friends with a paintbrush! In fact, if it wasn’t for Michael encouraging me to try soft pastels, I probably would have found another creative outlet. I immediately fell in love with them and the affair has lasted over 24 years. This was my first pastel painting:
During my early years of pastelling I attended a couple of workshops and read extensively, absorbing as much about the use of the pastel medium as I could. One of my favourite books was “Harley Brown’s Eternal Truths for Every Artist”, which mainly focuses on the use of pastels. I also subscribed to numerous art magazines and still enjoy browsing through them occasionally. Back then it was pre-internet so there were no Youtube tutorials!
About 10 years ago Michael suggested I give acrylics a try so off I went to buy all the paints, brushes (eeek), paper, etc, only to find I still didn’t like using a paintbrush. I also had a problem trying to blend with the quick-drying acrylics. I couldn’t get the beautiful blended skies and sand the way I could with my pastels … and so my affair with pastels continued!
That was until about four years ago when I discovered Atelier Interactive acrylics! Now I have made friends with the paintbrush and I can blend to my heart’s content.
This meant I also had to learn all about my new-found medium. Thank goodness for Youtube and the internet!! Here are some of my favourite Youtube channels:
Colour In Your Life: https://www.youtube.com/user/MazumaProductions1
Explore Acrylics: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIzzJZa8_Obui-WGHgdUnng
Will Kemp Art: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUENHoA7gBwvwPaZX3Er3jg
Lachri Fine Art: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgoZdnwxQzre7zjApoBl7og
Mural Joe: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFiPi_91wFvqB1g1eRCSqZg
I wouldn’t class myself as self-taught, as the drawing instruction I received all those years ago really put me on the right track. I think I would call my learning self-directed. It has been a combination of face-to-face art instruction, reading and the internet. The only thing I don’t like about travelling in our caravan is the fact I have to miss watching art videos on the net because we use a mobile internet and I would use up all the allowance in one afternoon!
How did you learn your craft?
Happy creating :)