Sunday 23 March 2014

Fiji in May

I will be taking a group to Fiji 11-18 May for a glorious week of botanical art and holiday sketching. The mornings are devoted to botanical art, and we paint from high on the hill in the yoga shala, with 180 degree views over Savusavu bay, Daku resort and the mountains. A soft tropical breeze wafts through the shala and it is the most incredibly relaxing experience.
The afternoons are spent at various locations such as beaches, visits to a Fijian village to experience traditional singing and dancing, town visits to shop, look around and sketch.
You can do as little or as much as you like. All skill levels are welcome and there is plenty of individual tuition and demonstrations. Non painting friends and partners are more than welcome and join in at all activities.
I have been doing this for 7 years now and have taught 17 courses there. The beauty and tranquility of the place is amazing. We stay at Savusavu in a family run resort. In Savusavu time has stood still in this hidden paradise. No hustle and bustle - just go with the flow. Still a few places left so would love to see you. and
The evening sunsets are to die for
Some of the students paintings from last year

The view from the shala


Art Tours & Workshops

I am just having a little break from packing - as will leave home 7am tomorrow morning for the airport, and my flight to Norfolk Island for a week where I am taking a group of students for a very self indulgent week of sketching and painting.
It has been an incredibly busy week - I had to finish my third painting in a series of Australian native plants - this time of the Cooktown Orchid, which is the Queensland floral emblem. Only three more paintings to go but am on track for my deadline.

I taught a workshop on Saturday at WEA Sydney, which is always a joy to do - such lovely students and a great teaching venue. I have been teaching there for over 12 years and was doing regular weekly 3 hour classes, up to three times a week. Recently I have given the weekly classes up but still love my regular workshops on all sorts of topics. It helps students keep motivated and inspired, and of course to enjoy the company of like-minded people.
One week after returning from Norfolk Island I am headed up to Mackay Qld, to teach a workshop at the Botanical Gardens on all aspects of leaves. John Ruskin said "If you can paint a leaf you can paint the world." This is so true.
I know students want to get into something 'gutsy' but should think about the basics. If you cant observe and draw, if you dont understand colour and colour mixing and matching, and if you cant apply an even wash, or gradated washes - it is time for Back to Basics. My leaf workshops covers all this and much much more.
So I am looking forward to a wonderful workshop with the lovely ladies of Mackay.

Thursday 13 March 2014

Botanical Art Course in Perth, WA

I have taught in WA before, at the Albany Summer School, and several courses at Cranbrook Art Centre. So am thrilled to have a fabulous venue in Perth.
Many of my Distance Learning students live in WA, and it would be a great opportunity to not only meet them, but to have them along in the course, to get some personal 'hands-on' tuition with me.
All skill levels are welcome, and an integral part of the course will be individual tuition and class demonstrations.

Saturday 8 March 2014

Natural History at the State Library

There is a fascinating exhibition currently on at the State Library of NSW - 'Artist Colony: Drawing Sydney's Nature' and it is on until 11 May 2014.

Over 100 natural history drawings and paintings from the late 18th century showcase this prolific exhibition.

It relates and reveals the colonial thirst for knowledge and our emerging cultural history. It is an incredible insight into the fascination the colonists discovered in the unique and exotic flora and fauna of Australia.

There are a total of six album volumes. Some of the work has been done by the colonial officers, others by convicts which would often be artists or counterfeiters.
There is an amazing history about the paintings, why, when, where and how they were done, and for what purpose.

I cannot recommend the State Library of NSW's website highly enough. The exhibitions and other collections are beautifully presented.
See The website includes a film, images of the paintings including a facility for magnification of the exhibits, an interactive resource and other information pertaining to this exhibition.