Seeking expressions of interest for our new art studio space in Melbourne

We are looking to bring our artistic community closer and create a communal art studio with individual storage, and an exclusive mentor program.

From 2017, our additional space will have both teaching studios and a communal studio. We are so excited about creating a space for artists to create, connect and even collaborate.

To make this happen we are seeking expressions of interest from individuals who would like to be a part of our communal studio. As we get an indication of the interest, then we can further clarify exact costs and location.

Why join our shared studio space?

  • Our communal studio offers a cheaper alternative for artists than a rented private studio.
  • You will be able to connect with different artists and be a part of a new, creative community.
  • You will have 24-hour access to the studio and your personal storage space.
  • You will receive a 10% discount on all MAC courses whilst you are part of our communal studio.
  • You can also receive one-on-one art tuition and mentoring from our teachers.

 What is the communal student studio?

A communal studio which is available for individual use.  Each artist would have access to personal storage space.

Proposed Timing: 24-hour access

Cost: Approximately $30-$50 per week

In addition to this, Melbourne Art Class will also be offering one-on-one art tuition and mentoring in this space.

What is one-on-one mentoring?

One-on-one meetings with your tutor (one of our experienced artists/instructors), in the communal studio.

Proposed Timing: Twice weekly, about half an hour each session.

Cost: Approximately $50-60 per week

If you are interested in being a part of our communal studio, or have any questions or feedback, please email Lauren at hub@melbourneartclass.com and help our new project begin!

 

What happens every week in Marco’s Studio Art Class

Marco Corsini’s Studio Art is a term-based course and has tended to be an eclectic fusion of talks and presentations by Marco (about four or five per term), guest speakers (one per term) and studio time.

We have a range of students attending this course; from dedicated, practising artists who have been with us for over three years, high school students supplementing their in-hours art classes, to creative people who just need an outlet.

The skill level is extremely varied as well – students tend to either be beginners who are guided through the fundamentals, or more experienced and ongoing artists who work on their own projects with Marco’s guidance. That’s the beauty of our Studio Art program – you can be the creative individual that you are, in an encouraging, non-judgemental environment, and also receive critical and professional artistic guidance if that is what you seek.

Lauren Ottaway, Red Kitchen, acrylic on canvas, 2015. Completed in Studio Art Class

We have had individuals on a Tuesday, arrive inspired with a new set of stamps and a stamp pad and stamp on huge pieces of paper all night, whilst others work painstakingly at an oil painting they have been focusing on for weeks. And we always have one or two beginners working on exercises set by Marco with his still life arrangement. The mix of people and their combined creativity is truly inspiring.

This class nurtures creativity and expression, and many students also find it an oasis from the “daily grind”. I was part of the class for three years and it was like a breath of fresh air where I was able to access that creative flow where time does not exist. Having this in my busy, corporate week was invaluable.

Marco’s Studio Art class is where I began to take my art practice seriously. Many of the materials are provided for beginners so the program allows a cost effective entry into art practice.

The class is limited to ten students to allow one-on-one tuition. Enrolments are now open for next term: https://melbourneartclass.com/studio-art/.

How to take quality photographs of your artwork

Taking quality photos of your artwork is very important. Whether you are taking for an art competition, blog or social media post, it is imperative that you achieve the closest likeness to your artwork as possible.

Subtle things such as yellow light and the angle of your camera can have a detrimental effect on the quality of your photograph. However, taking a photograph of your artwork like a professional is not that difficult to achieve!

Lighting, positioning and your camera set-up

These are the basic things you need to consider when taking a photograph of your artwork.

It goes without saying that a quality digital camera (like an SLR) with high mega pixels is going to achieve greater depth and quality in your photos, but if you follow the below tips you can create quality photos with almost any type of camera.

  • You need to choose where you will shoot your artwork – inside or outdoors. If you are taking photographs outside, be mindful of glare and position your artwork where you can get an even amount of light.
  • Set your artwork up on an easel as perpendicular as possible. Your artwork’s edges must be parallel with the view finder of the camera. If it is tilted at all, the shape or your artwork will be distorted. Try not to zoom in too much, and leave as little space around the artwork as you can (which you can edit later on the computer).
  • If you are taking photographs indoors, make sure the light is coming from one source, either natural light from a window or one fluorescent overhead. Also make sure that the fluorescent light is not green or yellow, because this can really affect the colour of your artwork. Your camera might have a “white balance” setting for florescent, halogen, lamp, candle etc. which you can experiment with.
  • You can either use the auto-focus centre on your camera, or the manual set-up if you can. For manual set-up, you will want to have the aperture lower, which will let in less light and give the image more depth. Ideally you would use a tripod, or rest the camera on a surface to keep the camera stable.
  • Try to take a lot of pictures of your artwork. It takes a bit of effort to set up the photograph, so it is better to have a lot of images to choose from when you load them onto your computer.

Once you have done this a few times you will get to know your camera and hopefully find a good location to take photographs.

In this digital age, where over 1.8 billion images are uploaded everyday on Instagram alone*, it is important to publish quality. Every image of your artwork on the internet is part of your on-line folio.

* http://tech.firstpost.com/news-analysis/now-upload-share-1-8-billion-photos-everyday-meeker-report-224688.html

That finishing feeling

We tend to have so much happening in our lives. When we wake up we already have a list of what we need to do that day formulated in our head and on top of this, we also have constant interruptions from an electronic device in our pocket, which seem to easily distract the best of us.

Many of our students at MAC have commented on the wonderful feeling they get in our classes when they take time out of their busy lives to concentrate on sketching or painting, and then finish a piece.

Carla Murray, oil on canvas
Carla Murray, oil on canvas

 

Are you ever able to concentrating on one thing – that you enjoy – until completion?

Because of these to-do lists we create in our lives, this state of being a constant “work in progress” doesn’t often allow us to stop, take our time, complete something, then reflect and admire. Daily “stuff” inhibits the pursuit of activities that bring us joy – especially those that allow us to be creative.

Another reason why we may not finish what we start is because we get a feeling of satisfaction when we tell other people our intentions. Over a long period of time, there have been a number of studies undertaken that have shown that people are less likely to pursue their goals after they have told people about them*. This is because once we let someone know about our new idea that requires our action, we get a feeling that satisfies our self-identity, which unfortunately renders us less motivated to complete what we set out to do.

Why it feels good to finish artwork

When was the last time you admired some flowers in your garden and actually sat down to sketch them? Or walked down to the river to photograph the ripples on the water? Finishing something generally makes you feel good, and finishing a piece of art definitely has something special about it.

When we start something new we receive a dopamine rush, hence why we like to tell people about our goals. This rush is not unlike the same feel-good sensation we get from doing anything we find pleasurable. This positive sensation is linked to the increased activity of dopamine in the brain. We also receive a dopamine rush when we complete something.

Creating art is significant because it is something created and finished by the individual for the purpose (mostly) of the individual. However, it is not like writing a novel, or learning a language; these end-points seem almost unreachable. We can control the time it takes to complete a piece of art, and the completion is made all the more satisfying because we have brought an image to life from a white, flat surface which we can admire.

Although there is a sense of completion when we finish reading a novel, or watching a movie, it is different because we may feel like we have lost something; the story is over and the characters lives’ are frozen in time on the final page. Though when we see a piece of art we have completed, we may feel a sense of pride and achievement that lives on as long as the work does. Even finishing the tiniest sketch of a leaf – and being happy with it – can bring about this feeling. It is so simple, yet so special.

At MAC, we aim to inspire people who take the time out of their routine to be creative with us. Some simply pick up a piece of charcoal and make marks on paper, while others spend weeks and months touching up an oil painting they are deeply involved with, and proud of. No matter what your medium, we hope that you too feel that wonderful sensation of completion, whilst enjoying the journey of creating art. Now go and pick up that pencil!

*Peter Gollwitser, Symbolic Self-Completion

 

Students’ work from our Painting Intensive

Marco’s Painting Course in December was three days of intense energy between painters and canvas. This concentrated effort is not often exercised in our busy lives and the end results were acute, new technical skills and a finished work after only three days of painting.

The students who attended had varied painting skills; some with little knowledge at all. As you can see from the finished pieces of work below, they completed sensitive paintings with varied tone and interesting compositions. We are very happy with these pieces and proud that such detail was achieved over a short amount of time. It normally takes our students at least few weeks to complete a painting of this standard in our normal classes with two and a half contact hours per week.

We have introduced another intensive art class – drawing with Hilmi Baskurt, which runs for three days over the Labour Day weekend in March. This is a great opportunity to focus and refine drawing skills over three intensive days. You can find out more here.

Ethel, acrylic on canvas
Ethel, acrylic on canvas
Painting
Julie, acrylic on canvas

 

Elizabeth, acrylic on canvas
Elizabeth, acrylic on canvas

Summer Art Classes at MAC

Over the summer holidays many of us our leave our paintbrushes and pencils where we left them after our final art class. So we have introduced two new short courses to motivate you to continue your art practice throughout the break. These short courses are also great gifts to give at Christmas time because the gift of creativity and experience is invaluable. Be sure to request a gift certificate upon payment.

Drawing and Painting Intensive with Marco Corsini – Dec 29th, 30th and 31st

Join Marco this December for a three-day Intensive Drawing and Painting Course.

Marco Corsini, A kind of homecoming, 2014, Oil on linen, 120 cm. x 120 cm.
Marco Corsini, A kind of homecoming, 2014, Oil on linen, 120 cm. x 120 cm.

Marco will combine a series of presentations with personal tuition in drawing and painting, with an emphasis on working from observation and the development of sophisticated technique. Some of the aspects covered include composition, underpainting, representing form, space and texture, colour and its relationship to composition and form, and more.   Find out more information and enrol here

Introduction to Drawing with Hilmi Baskurt – Jan 15th to Jan 29th

This course presents a fantastic opportunity to learn the four elements of sketching with our new teacher, Hilmi Baskurt.

Hilmi Baskurt Untitled
Hilmi Baskurt Untitled

A former student of iconic British painter Frank Auerbach, Hilmi will introduce you to structural sketching, value sketching, Chiaroscuro and contour sketching. Hilmi earned a Master of Fine Art degree in painting from Royal Academy of Arts and his Masters’ thesis was on the subject of Composition. This drawing course will be extremely beneficial for beginners and artists who would like a refresher over the holidays. Find out more information and enrol here

Children and art

The following is an excerpt from an e-mail I sent earlier today which may be of help in understanding what I am trying to do in the Young Artist Program.

Until the age of thirteen or fourteen a child needs to be reassured that their own creative processes including experimentation and failure are all valid. I am trying to allow the children to emulate the creative processes that I see a mature artist go through. By doing that I am hoping that the child will be equipped with confidence and creative processes to deal with the challenges of anything they choose to take on. At some point the child’s vision widens and seeing skills they do not possess; they choose to acquire those skills. It is at that point that a systematic direction can be given. To some degree these two aspects are present in every child at every stage so I am trying to read the child to know when to let them go and when to give direction and I do that every class.

If the child were to produce mermaids and dogs every week I would not see that as being any different from Fred Williams producing landscapes. My role then is not to distract from the child’s vision but to support them in developing that vision and give technical advice when necessary (which at this age, may or may not be taken on). My other role is to expose the children to art and art processes which I try to do although the children are often so absorbed in their own work they barely seem to notice.

Marco Corsini

Kevin Brennan will be asking; why do we make art and does art really matter?

Why do we make art and does art really matter? Kevin Brennan, our guest speaker this Tuesday the 5th and Friday the 15th, will be exploring these questions.

Kevin has worked in the arts and cultural arena for over 25 years as artist, producer facilitator and entrepreneur covering a range of art forms and practice. Kevin is fascinated by creativity and its practice as well as in public debate and policy frameworks. He has extensive experience in teaching, facilitating community engagement, writing strategy and analysis and developing policy in this field.

Kevin was Artistic Coordinator of La Luna Youth Arts (1990-94), Company Manager of Melbourne Workers Theatre from 1995-1999 and Programming Co-ordinator for the Art of Dissent Conference for Adelaide Festival and Melbourne Festival in 2002. He has served on numerous local and state government committees and advisory bodies.

Through his business United Notions Creative Solutions Kevin has worked strategically through consultations & research with small arts organisations, diverse communities, government and arts industry bodies and the broader community and tertiary education sectors. Among many other projects, Kevin was Executive Officer of Arts Management Advisory Group (Victoria) from 2005-2011, Specialist Arts Advisor for Deloitte’s Research into Small Arts organisations for Arts Victoria (2007). He has worked on the development of Arts & Culture Strategies for Shire of Cardinia, City of Kingston and Shire of Golden Plains. Kevin is a sessional lecturer in the Masters of Community Cultural Development Course at the Centre for Cultural Partnerships (Victorian College of the Arts) and lectures in the Masters in Arts Management course at RMIT.