News and Updates – Dec 4 2019

I hope you’re having a good week. It feels like summer is well and truly here, it’s so hot here in Brisbane! It’s going to be a long dry hot season I think, so remember to put a bowl of water out for the birds. The other week we spotted a magpie trying to get cool while sitting in the hot sun with it’s wings spread, so we gave it a drink and then turned on the hose for it to cool off. A few seconds later we had 4 magpies all warbling and flapping about with delight in the hose water, they were so happy to cool off. Such a lovely moment.

There’s only 1 seat left for the Intro to Pastels for Adult Beginners Workshop on Sunday 2nd February, so if you’ve been thinking about it, don’t delay! Here is the link to book your seat.

Below you’ll find photos from last week’s class. We painted an orange in a tree first blocking in the darks and lights in the background and blending the edges so that everything was out of focus and soft. Whilst doing this it was important to just paint the colours and shapes as we saw them, it’s amazing how everything makes sense at the end when you don’t get caught up in what you ‘think’ it should look like and what ‘is’. Once the background was done, then it was time to focus on the orange and the leaves in the foreground, these areas had more detail, contrast and sharper edges. Each pastel painting looked great, well done everyone! 

Take care, go gently and I’ll see you soon.
Jeanne x

Thanks for a great year!

My intention of blogging regularly hasn’t really worked so well, so it’s irregular and random – which suits me perfectly!

If you haven’t been here before, welcome to Delicious Art. Delicious Art began as a small group of friends who were happy to sign up with me for a few weeks and try pastels – so I could see if I was any good at teaching, and they  could see if they were any good at art. I am forever grateful they did. Thank you!

We’ve now arrived the end of another wonderful year of art classes and today I am inspired to write a few words for whoever cares to read them.

Since I started teaching art classes sometime in 2016, or was it 2015? I can’t recall, I have met so many amazing people. It’s not easy to muster the courage to learn something new, to be vulnerable and have a go in a group of people you’ve never met, and it’s been such a delight to watch my students grow, develop their art, fall in love with pastels and come into my home every week for a few hours to keep learning and trying. T see photos of student art head over to the photos page on my website.

Have you seen the movie ‘The Bucket List’? It’s an all-time favourite of mine and there’s a line in that movie that asks “Have you found joy in your life? Has your life brought joy to others?” I can joyfully, hand on heart, answer yes to both. It really is a great honour to help fellow humans find joy.

So to my students who have trusted me on their art journey, whether it was for one day or many, I want to say thank you. Thank you for helping me create our little community, thank you for showing up and being vulnerable, for practising and finding your inner artist. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, I am so excited to see what we can create in 2019!

The ‘gasp’ moment

Last night we had a new lady come to art class. She arrived early and we fell into an easy chat before everyone else arrived. She told me she was scared and nervous and not very good at art and she showed me some of the drawings she’d done recently, and she said she wanted to learn and be better. So we had the class and before long she was relaxed and chatting and enjoying herself. I could see that her painting was going to be beautiful, but she didn’t believe me and said I was being kind and nice (which I am, usually).

So one of the things I do many times during my classes is I hold everyone’s painting up so they can see it from a distance, that’s when you can see how your art is progressing and what you need to do to keep working on it. So that’s what I did. I asked this lovely lady to close her eyes, I picked up her painting and stepped back and held it up, then she opened her eyes wide and literally gasped with wonder. I truly love those ‘gasp’ moments, that’s when you realise that you CAN do it, that you can make a beautiful painting.

And she left at the end of class with a huge smile, a bit more confidence and a vow to come back and keep learning. That’s why I teach art, it lights me up and gladdens my heart, I just love it.

Parisienne Pastels and Serendipity

A little segment about my visit to La Maison du Pastel in Paris, the oldest pastel shop in the world where pastels are hand made and used to cater to the likes of Degar.

It was Saturday 16th December. We’d arrived in Paris the day before and my hubby and I were at the beginning of our European Christmas Adventure and one of the places I wanted to visit was here. I was beyond excited to see this place. We’d walked for hours to find it and arrived at 1.45pm. But the doors were closed and the curtains drawn so imagine my disappointment when we arrived to a closed sign on the door -oh no! The sign said they only open on Thursdays. I think I nearly cried with disappointment… But wait, there was a little note stuck to the glass that said they were opening for only 2 Saturday’s in December, the 16th and the 23rd, from 2 til 5 and it was 1.45. Joy!! Oh I was so excited (again).

So we checked the date and the time just to be sure and decided to go find some lunch then we’d come back. As we walked away I glanced back at the shop and saw a lady (who turned out to be Margaret, one of the owners), parting the curtains and gesturing us to come in. Oh my goodness, yes please!!!! In to Pastel heaven!! I don’t have words to describe how awesome it was to be there and I did cry when she showed my the new selection of reds they’ve made, so beautiful.  The shop was lined with beautiful old wooden drawers and they were all full of hand-made pastels – 1200 colours – it really was a highlight of the trip for me. Of course I bought the set of reds, they were just too beautiful to leave behind. How amazing that we happened to arrive on the right day at the right time – serendipity at its best!


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!

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!


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.

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

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!

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?