Hi, I’m Jeanne Cotter and I am passionate about pastels. I love colour and texture and art and the immediacy of pastels.
Let me back-track and tell you a bit about me. I’m a mum of three, two girls and a boy, all who are now healthy busy adults out in the world doing their own thing and I’m super proud of each of them. I married the most wonderful man in the world, Brian, in June 2016 and we live happily ever after in the Western suburbs of Brisbane.
Life hasn’t always been bliss, I’ve had loads of shitty times too, but they make me ever more grateful for the blessings I enjoy now.
Career-wise, I am a graphic designer and creator so I’ve been into design and art forever. I love to teach, connect and create. I work part-time at Art Shed Brisbane and I love it!
When I was around 46ish and living on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, I stumbled across an amazing pastel artist and we connected. I was so intrigued with her art and fell in love with pastels there and then. This lady invited me to her pastel art classes and so I went… every week, once a week, for 6 years. For me taking those few hours out of my hectic week to spend time making art, learning and discovering the beauty of pastels was a gift to me, to be with myself and develop my art. During that time I traveled to Italy, twice, on painting tours with my art class tutor and fellow students and it was a dream come true, to be in Italy (I adore Italy) with my pastels and painting in the streets. I still have to pinch myself!! Oh my goodness. So blessed.
In 2014 I moved my home and my business and my elderly parents to Brisbane and art classes became a thing of the past while I got busy settling in to my new home, getting married, organising my parent’s aged care, finding work and generally starting over. It’s been a busy crazy amazing few years.
And then one day I found myself feeling incredibly sad and kinda empty and I realised I was missing my art, like a long lost friend. So, after thinking about it and talking about it with friends I decided it was time to launch into teaching pastels for beginners… and here we are! Welcome.
You know what I love the most about my art classes? I love seeing the amazement on the faces of my students when they step back from the easel and see the beauty they’ve created. It really does make my heart sing. I love showing people how to paint a cloud, or a pear and holding the space for people to connect with themselves and discover their inner artist. And I love teaching and sharing and creating community and watching friendships grow. I sincerely love that!
I have been challenged by some who question my ‘authority’ to teach pastels. So I’ll tell you right now, I don’t have a fine arts degree and I’m not a master artist or even spectacular at painting and I still have a lot to learn (don’t we all?). In fact I still take myself to workshops and art classes to learn from others who are far more experienced than me, and I love that because I too want to keep learning and crafting my skill. What I DO have is a desire to share what I know, to create a community and friendships around the easel and to show you how to find your own delicious amazingness because it’s the BEST feeling when you reach in deep and draw out your deepest beauty in art and see what you can achieve. And those few hours that you gift yourself will sustain you for the rest of the week and keep your soul inspired and delighted and nourished as it does for me. That’s why I do this. Simple really.
So if my values align with yours and you’d like to come and learn more about pastels, I invite you to join me for a class or workshop soon.
You can check out my artworks here, and yes, most are for sale, so if something delights you please get in touch with me. Jeanne xx
AWARDS – 2018 – Pastel Society of Australia Annual Competition/Exhibition – I won Third Prize in the Alexandra Award for ‘The Pears at Claire’s’ – Judged by Liz Haywood-Sullivan and Michael Hawker