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Blending Art and Food and Sisterhood

Delicious Art Pastel Class Brisbane

On Sunday 16th July we held another delicious Sunday Workshop. This one was inspired by my sister’s visit from Canberra so between us and my other sister, Sally, we created a wonderful day of pastels, food and a touch of yoga.

With food being the subject we began the day with carrot cake – painting it that is! Everyone’s cake looked so delicious and then for morning tea we had the real thing, yum!

After lunch we settled in and spent the rest of the day painting a gorgeous beach scene in purple and yellow complementary pastels. There was plenty of chatter, laughter and of course some of us struggled a bit to get everything right, but at the end of the day everyone had painted magnificent scenes and they looked great.

The Delicious Art Sunday Workshops are a wonderful way to learn to paint with pastels, enjoy the company of other arty people and just take time out for yourself. Nearly everyone arrives with some trepidation and doubt, because we’re human aren’t we, but there’s also a touch of excitement and anticipation to see what we’re capable of, to tap into the inner artist who might not have been around for a while. And by the end of the day there are smiles all round, new friendships and a wonderful feeling of achievement. That’s the best part!

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Painting Autumn

 

Our Autumn Sunday Workshop was a wonderful day. We’d had a lot of rain in the previous few days and I was a bit nervous about having the class on the deck. You’d think that would be fine in the rain, and it is mostly, but when it’s heavy and wild that rain finds its way in and gets all over the paper and pastels and it’s not a good mix.

We started the Workshop off inside sketching autumn leaves and talking about tone and shadow and light. By morning tea the skies were clear so we ventured out to the deck after all – it’s much nicer out there with the river views.

The first exercise after sketching was to paint an autumn leaf with pastels. Oh my goodness!  We had two beginners, Jocelyn and Alessandra, in the class that day and they both did a magnificent job! Gayle and Guinevere painted stunning autumn leaves as well. It was so much fun mixing the golds and reds to make browns and muds. After lunch we delved into the ‘big picture’  for the day, an image of leaves on a branch with a blurred background. These all turned out beautiful as well.

I am always so delighted with what my students create, from beginners to experienced and everything in between. We had a wonderful day and just quietly, I think our Autumn theme might have encouraged Autumn to actually arrive at last!

 

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Growing a pastel rose

Roses are my favourite flower and when I first started painting with pastels the subject I dearly wanted to master was roses.

Over the years I’ve painted many roses, I love the frailty of roses and the way the petals wrap around each other encasing the centre bud, they really are an amazing structure and formation of delicate texture. Pastels are beautiful for painting roses because you can capture the tiny ruffled edges of the petals and communicate the roundness of them and the transparency of light through the petals.

Here I’ve added a step by step process of painting one of my roses, this visual clue helps my students to see the structure and process of painting a rose, one petal at a time.

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It’s all about community

We all have different needs and desires that drive us and keep us motivated and keen to get out of bed every day. One of the drivers for me, other than creating and making art, is being part of a community and bringing people together. I get a huge kick out of witnessing people meeting and collaborating and forming friendships and it’s one of the reasons I teach pastel art classes.

Yes it’s about art and learning but it’s also about community and bringing people together. Over the last 20 years the rapid advancement of technology has meant that we tend to spend more time alone than ever, engrossed in our computers or phones staring at a screen, and it isolates us. Most humans have a basic need to connect with other humans, to talk, touch and engage, and so we gravitate towards meetups and networks to satisfy the need for connection, to receive validation and participate in conversation. I love that my Delicious Art classes are creating a community, friendships have grown and so has confidence. I love that my students can relax, laugh and enjoy each other’s company while realising the value of investing in their art. So to those of you who came and learned and shared, I thank you, for not only brightening my days but for coming together, creating community and making delicious art.

Christmas is now only a few days away – where did the year go? I wish you a wonderful restful festive season and I look forward to making more art with you in 2017.

Jeanne x

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Why coming to an art class is so satisfying

Last week I had just one student come to class. It was one of those days when everyone else was busy, last minute stuff happened and they couldn’t make it.

And that is perfectly OK.

So Shalini got a one-on-one class all to herself. It also happened to be the day that everyone was to start a painting of their choice. Shalini had been to the art shop and got the paper and some new pastels and she had her reference picture all ready to go. I loved her enthusiasm! Here’s a summary of what she said:

After coming to classes for the last six weeks I finally feel ready to start my own painting. The first couple of classes really pushed me out of my comfort zone and I wasn’t that happy with what I did.

(I interjected here and said “had you ever done this before?” and Shalini said no. “So how can you be good or accomplished at something if you’ve never done it before?” Good question!)

Coming here every Friday means taking time out of my business and some weeks I’m crazy busy, but I’m committed to coming every week and learning something new and it’s so good for me. Starting my own painting today has been a lovely experience because I had to think about colours and composition and find something I want to paint. I really enjoyed the process and having all the classes before this one has prepared me for this. I’m so excited to be doing this and I feel very content to take it slowly and work on it each week. I love your art classes Jeanne, it’s precious time I give to myself, it’s meditative, peaceful and relaxing. Thank you!

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Pastels – are they drawings or paintings?

Do you draw or paint with Pastels?

Both! Pastel is the only medium that you can draw AND paint with. Pastel sticks feel a bit like chalk, although the more delicious brands feel more like butter! There’s no brush or tool between you and your medium, you can use pastels like a pencil with the sharper end of the stick to ‘draw’ lines and mark in detail and you can turn the pastel on its side to apply larger strokes of colour to ‘paint’ your pastel paper.

You can blend pastels with your fingers to create beautiful tones and colours, and you can apply different levels of pressure for soft transparent strokes or heavy thick layers of colour. Pastels are lovely to hold, working with pastels is a dance with colour, layers, textures, stroke and tone. Quite beautiful really!

So, are you ready to come paint AND draw with me?

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Don’t die with the art still inside you

Wouldn’t it be sad to leave this world without ever shining and sharing your art? Or music, or dance… whatever it is that’s burning inside you.

As Marianne Williamson said “We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” 

I love and live by this quote and I encourage you to do the same. We want to see and feel the beauty you have to contribute to the world because when you share your gifts you give others joy. And I believe that’s why we’re all here, to give joy and love and light.

Jeanne x