Director’s end of year message

We’ve come to the end of a very exciting and sometimes challenging 2016 for Melbourne Art Class (MAC). What began as a unique art program almost nine years ago, continues to flourish. We have been coming to terms with the ever-increasing scale of MAC and there is little doubt in my mind that everything we have been through this year is laying the foundations for a new MAC era.

I’d like to thank everyone that has participated in MAC this year.

Thank you to our dedicated students who make our role as teachers extremely rewarding. For us as teachers, this environment of small intimate classes is a wonderful way to pass on skills and exchange experiences. I receive so much from my students; sometimes my classes are like a balm for the hard, long hours I work alone elsewhere. I very much appreciate meeting wonderful people who regularly attend our courses and embrace our little community with generosity.

Thanks to the Uniting Church who ignore the possibility of greater economic gain to make Enderby Hall available to artists, in so doing have supported me as an artist.

Thank you Lauren for being a being a constant support for me as I scurry between teaching and art practice. I attribute the friendly tone and sense of community we have managed to retain to your focus and warmth.

Thank you Hilmi as you continue to take art teaching to new levels. The little following of students that has sprouted up around you is justly deserved. I personally continue to gain much from our conversations and it is always encouraging to know that you are there.

Thank you Caz for bringing your generous warmth and experience to MAC’s students. We are fortunate to have your unique set of skills along with the care you have shown individuals.

Thank you to Jesse, you have been a strong foundation for myself and for MAC and it has been exciting to see the new developments in your own art practice this year. We will be watching for your upcoming show.

Thanks also to Irene who worked with us for part of the year. I very much have respect for your breadth of skill and experience.

Thank you to Althea who brings her gift for business strategy to our little school, enabling us to adapt to an ever-changing environment.

I continue to watch MAC develop and grow with a quiet sense of awe. I cannot tell you how fortunate we are to have this unique group of teachers and administrators and it has been amazing to see the way in which each individual ‘appeared’ when we most needed them.

2017 will be a formative year for MAC as we adapt, implement new courses, teachers and spaces. I look forward to continuing the journey with you.

Have a wonderful Christmas and holiday break and a happy new year!

Marco

Marco Corsini

Children and art

The assimilation of new techniques into children’s art work.

I have returned to teaching a children’s class after two years focused upon developing the adults’ classes.

I came into this new children’s class with the intention of introducing some elements of ‘atelier’ or ‘academic’ style training for the children. This is the methodology that many of the adults who have attended our classes would be familiar with, that enables us to rigorously teach technique.

Whilst I intended to introduce the same elements as in our adult’s classes, those of you that know me, will know that I am heavily influenced by Steiner and Montessori educational philosophies. These philosophies emphasise intrinsic self motivation (self motivation), creativity and the natural rhythm of child’s development. Whilst these philosophies are not completely incompatible with the style of training I wanted to introduce, it certainly gives me a lot to consider as a teacher.

We have had our first two classes for the term and the results, in fact, the way in which the first week’s instruction was absorbed then reappeared, fully integrated into the second week’s work has left me speechless. Perhaps these children are just incredibly talented, but somehow, they have taken in the new techniques and used them to produce work which incorporates those techniques into their own powerfully iconographic style. The three examples below by Taku, Chloe and Tyla display a far more individual approach than I would commonly see in adults, yet all have used the techniques of constructing a sphere and use of tone that I had shown them the week before.  They do this while still maintaining an aesthetic integrity; the work holds together as personal statement. The new techniques have been subsumed to the personal visual logic each child individually consistently maintains.

Taku, charcoal on paper, 2016
Taku, charcoal on paper, 2016
Chloe, charcoal on paper. 2016
Chloe, charcoal on paper. 2016
Tyra, charcoal on paper, 2016
Tyra, charcoal on paper, 2016

On the basis of these works, it seems that it is possible to teach technique to children without restricting their creative or personal expression. Taku, for example, maintains a powerful expressive line and an arresting visual impact over the foundation of the structural approach he had been shown. Chloe has a whimsical play with the line of the structural drawing. With the interplay of line and the rubbing of the charcoal, the groups of objects all merge into one whole, showing an interplay of relationships between objects. Tyra also uses value, or tone in a powerful way, inventing value for visual impact (the shadow wasn’t present in the arrangement she was drawing from).

I realise that while teaching what is essentially a limiting process to the children, I shouldn’t limit the children’s other visual processes and iconographies. The purpose of restricting would be to show the assimilation of the technique I am teaching more clearly. The problem being that by restricting other information children use in the image, I may be sending the message that other forms of expression aside from that being taught are are wrong. The eventual casualty of such an approach being the death of creativity, exploration and intrinsic learning.

For the age group in my class, (9 – 12 year olds), it seems I can teach technique and that the child experiences an adaption of the new technique into an existing canon of technique, creativity and visual language rather than a weeding out of those pre-existing elements. In so doing, they maintain their ability for powerful personal expression.

I’m very much looking forward to the work that is to come.

Written by: Marco Corsini

Teacher of our 8 to 14 year old’s Children’s Art Class

New day art classes at MAC!

We have been asked for a long time now, when will we be holding art classes during the day?!

Well, we are excited to announce we will be running two new Drawing and Painting (Studio Art) classes during Tuesday and Friday mornings from 2017! Finally, we hear you say!

Artist Marco Corsini will be presenting these daytime art classes and they will run the same way as our popular evening Studio Art Class (don’t worry, he will still be taking our Tuesday night class)!

Vicki Mullina, oil on canvas, 2016, Studio Art Class

Marco’s Studio Art Classes are our longest-running and are the foundation of Melbourne Art Class. We welcome people from all creative backgrounds, skill levels – anyone who needs a space to be creative, become inspired, acquire specific skills, continue an artistic project – the list goes on. The unique element about this class is that we limit enrolments to only ten students, so Marco is able to provide critical feedback, drawing and painting tuition or just help you get your idea out of your head and onto the canvas.

To get to know Marco’s classes a little better, you can read about his Tuesday evening class here.

Our classes are held at Enderby Studio, 314 Church Street, Richmond.

Daytime Art Course Dates

Term 1 Tuesday mornings: Feb 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th, Mar 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th (8 sessions)

Time: 9:30am – 12:00pm

Enrolments: https://melbourneartclass.com/drawing-and-painting-with-marco-corsini/

Term 1 Friday mornings: Feb 10th, 17th, 24th,  Mar 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th, 31st (8 sessions)

 Time: 9:30am – 12:00pm

Enrolments: https://melbourneartclass.com/drawing-and-painting-with-marco-corsini/

If you have any questions about our new daytime art classes, please don’t hesitate to email Lauren at hub@melbourneartclass.com! We look forward to helping you add some creativity to your week!

 

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!

 

Attending to the lightness of seeing

Drawing and Painting Student, and Guest Blogger Ivana, inspires us with her newly-found dedication to agreeing to pay attention to the act of seeing.

A little while ago a post floated across my facebook feed, one of those pithy inspirational quotes – you know the sort; the sort that is ever so wise and makes you feel good and whole while otherwise scrolling cat vids*.

From William James, the American Philosopher and Psychologist it said simply:

“My experience is what I agree to attend to.”

It got me thinking around a bunch of stuff. Now, some of that stuff is pretty personal and I’ll hold it close but in respect to the act of drawing there is an insight bound in the idea of agreement and attention I thought might be relevant and of interest. Here goes…

Left to my own devices, I’m a sloppy drawer. Hard handed and while not lacking confidence in attacking the page I’m a little too focussed on immediate gratification. I just want to get that damn image down! Quickly. I’ve got 20:20 vision and know one end of a pencil from the other but you might not always be able to tell when looking my work.

Here’s an example, sketched quickly at home:

Moomin with Mummy, Ivana Lees
Moomin with Mummy, Ivana Dash

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So I take drawing classes and I do this for two reasons:

1) To develop technique, and;

2) To tame my giddy inner self and focus on seeing.

It is true that with each drawing and each class my technique improves; manipulation of material and touch becomes easier, tips are gained and tricks learned but… If that’s all a drawing class was, I’d still be a sloppy drawer –with admittedly significantly better tools at my disposal.

So this is where the second point comes in. Obtuse perhaps, but insanely important it’s about the act of seeing – agreeing to pay attention to the act seeing; to force myself to do this in a structured and warm but firm environment.  To learn to look at. To learn to look around. To learn to look through. To learn to truly look. To agree to do this so that I might actually see. Through this, my naturally excited hand becomes light and free; truly trained and tamed and my work while still distinctly mine becomes all the better for it. At least, that’s my goal. Some recent Melbourne Art Class drawing class works:

Ivana, charcoal on paper, March 2016
Ivana Dash, charcoal on paper, March 2016
Ivana, charcoal on paper, March 2016
Ivana Dash, charcoal on paper, March 2016

Now, I’ve done a number of MAC drawing classes with Hilmi Baskurt and am intensely driven to continue however other than the obvious improvement in technique (which in itself is delightful and not in question) I was feeling a little at a loss as to why I was so compelled. After all, I lead a busy life like everybody else and classes come at the cost of doing something else. Then, I saw that little quote and my gut instinct got a voice. I want to learn to see.

I agree to attend to being able to see.

Written by Ivana Dash

*BTW, cat vids are awesome. I have nothing against cat vids. Oh look! Here’s one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OUtn3pvWmpg

Student work from our Drawing Classes with Hilmi Baskurt

Artist Hilmi Baskurt’s Drawing Courses explore the four elements of sketching – the structural sketch or basic line drawing; value sketching (light and dark); chiaroscuro (black and white) and contour sketching, or continuous line drawing. Being aware of these four elements helps students with their observational skills and will lead to a more finished drawing.

These courses attract a wide range of people – from complete beginners to artists who would like to return to the fundamentals. Because our classes are small (no more than ten students), this allows Hilmi to help everyone individually, no matter what skill level. It also allows a student some freedom in their choice of work.

The first term of classes saw some fantastic drawings being produced, especially since a number of our students had never drawn before. We love doing what we do when we see a new artist complete a drawing they never thought possible – or see an object of Still Life in a way they had never considered!

Here are some of the works produced in our recent six-week course with Hilmi:

Jamie
Jamie
Kate
Kate
Song
Song
Emily
Emily
Georgia
Georgia
Steve
Steve
Cheryl
Cheryl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also ran a Drawing Intensive Worksop over the Labour Day weekend that crammed the four elements into a boot-camp style course, as well as one day focusing on Life Drawing. These workshops are extremely popular; a lot of our students complete this workshop and then move onto our six-week drawing and Life Drawing courses. In both of these courses, students can complete folio-ready drawings, depending on their skill level.

Here are some images from our students undertook the Labour Day Workshop:

Stella
Stella
Casey
Casey
Chandrima
Chandrima
Donald
Donald
Ivana
Ivana
Jenni
Katie
Katie
Vipul
Vipul
Patrick
Patrick

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Come and sketch with us over the ANZAC Day weekend!

We are running a three-day drawing workshop over the ANZAC Day weekend and enrolments are currently open! You can read more and enrol in the workshop here: http://melbourneartclass.com/drawing-intensive/. If you have any questions about the course, or any classes we offer, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Lauren at hub@melbourneartclass.com.

You can see all the drawing courses we offer here: http://melbourneartclass.com/drawing/

 

Award-winning artist Irene Ferguson joins MAC

We are extremely fortunate to have artist Irene Ferguson in our rank of professional artists/teachers here at Melbourne Art Class!

Irene is currently teaching our popular six-week General Drawing Course, and her Sunday Studio Art Course begins this weekend (enrolments are still open!).

Irene was born in New Zealand and we are very lucky she has chosen to cross the Tasman after wandering all around the world. She completed a Master Fine Arts at the New York Academy of Art, (cum laude) and also has a Diploma of Fine Arts, with Honours (printmaking) from Otago School of Fine Art, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Irene Ferguson with Blue Girl

Irene has had over thirteen solo exhibitions and a number of group exhibitions in her career, and has worked as studio assistant for both Jeff Koons and Louise Bourgeois.

A highly-recognized artist, Irene has been a finalist in many prizes, including the BP Portaiture Award at the National Gallery in London.

Irene is best known for her portraiture work. In 2008 she won the Adam Portraiture Award with her work, The Blue Girl, Johanna Sanders in her Back Yard (pictured).  She travelled to Italy in 2010 to the Charles H. Cecil Studios in Florence, Italy to complete her training in portraiture. And Irene will soon be taking a portraiture class here at MAC!

We currently have one class with Irene with places still available – our Sunday Studio Art Course, where we invite all artists, whether you are a complete beginner and would like to learn how to draw or paint, or if have your on project you would like to work and receive critical feedback. The nine-week course begins this Sunday April 17th, and you can enrol and find out more about the course here: https://melbourneartclass.com/sunday-studio-art-with-irene-ferguson/.

 

I learned to mix black – this may have changed my world

Ivana’s inspiring experience during our Summer School

Ivana was one of a few students who undertook the challenge of completing both our Painting and Drawing Masterclasses in-between Christmas and New Year (not to mention the challenge of the heat)!

She has had previous experience in painting, however it was the first time she had ever experienced life drawing. We gratefully received her feedback and detailed experience below, and hope you also find it helpful and an insight into the classes we hold here at MAC. Thank you Ivana for allowing us to share your wonderfully candid account! This is why we love what we do.

“My objective in these classes was twofold. To refine my eye and hand; to learn specific technique and refine accuracy in representation as these are areas where I am poor. Also to dive into the Flemish technique as I’m obsessed by light and form but am yet to represent them in a way I find satisfying. The class was a remarkable opportunity to do that.

I see an immense difference and again, must say I’m thrilled with the result. I think I’ve come a long way in a short time. At home, I paint something I am more often than not unhappy, sometimes to the point of wanting to go all ninja on it, beat it with nun chucks and chuck ninja stars… You’ll be pleased to know that these works remain safe from Japanese implements of combat. J

…I’m also practicing Flemish technique on some small canvasses at home (I’m intent on capturing that light, dammit!) and am happy to share those once done and if I’m happy with them.

Ivana Dash, Still Life Imprimatura
Ivana Dash, Still Life Glaze (work in progress)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My focus was on learning; the technical in these two specific areas (refine my eye and hand; to learn specific technique and refine accuracy in representation) and that goal was achieved. I am thrilled with the results.

I think it’s also important to point out that these are my first still life and portrait paintings. Ever.

Now, with my drawing skills they are significantly less progressed and in respect to the drawing class, I think I was probably on a par with the others. I spoke with Hilmi about this before signing up as it was a Masterclass, and he encouraged me to do so as refining skills in this area would only be of benefit to my painting… even if I was slow and didn’t totally rock the class.

He was right.

First time working with charcoal, first time life drawing – I Loved It!

I don’t think my drawings will be hanging anytime soon, however even I could see the progress as the days progressed. See what you think:

Day 1: Still Life Gestural  
Ivana Dash

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 1: Still Life, Charcoal. Structural. Dark Base w/ shellac and Day 4 painted highlights
Ivana Dash

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2: Still Life, Charcoal. Structural. Light Base.
Ivana Dash

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3: Life Drawing #1. Pencil + Black Charcoal:
Ivana Dash

 

 

 

 

 

Day 4: Life Drawing #2. Pencil + Black & White Charcoal:
Ivana Dash

 

 

 

 

 

Once again, I was thrilled by the results and have become slightly obsessed with life drawing. I need to do more. Soon!

I also learned to mix black. I think this may have changed my world.

I really enjoyed Himi’s teaching style. He’s quiet and confident, firm and precise but also gentle. I think one of the most important things in a learning environment is to have the freedom, comfort and latitude to feel free to make mistakes; countered with a confidence in your lecturer that they can pull you up on these without making you feel like an arse and have the skill to pull your work back from the brink so you can move forward. That’s a tricky balance.

Hilmi did this with me many times and I am hugely grateful and inspired to continue.”

We are very appreciative of any feedback we receive and also encourage students to share their work with us so we can share it with everyone at MAC!

We have two painting courses beginning this Saturday, running for seven weeks – Painting from Still Life with Hilmi Baskurt and Painting from the Life Model with Marco Corsini. These classes are open to all skill levels and our teachers will focus on drawing fundamentals in the beginning for those of you who are new to painting. We also have students in the class who have been returning for many terms. If you are interested in joining these classes, you can find out more information and enrol here: http://melbourneartclass.com/painting-courses/

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/.

Students’ life model work from Painting Term 3

We had a full class for Term 3 Painting and our students produced some incredible work which we are very proud of and would love to share.

Four sessions over the ten weeks were dedicated to painting from one life model, in an ongoing pose. Painting the figure is difficult but a wonderful way to develop as a painter. Marco is able to guide students through the drawing foundations of the painting through to the final techniques. The focus in these session was on establishing fundamental processes for painting in a short time. Marco helped students create fleshy tones, finding the lights and darks, and using colours you wouldn’t normally associate with flesh.  He was also aware of the different painting techniques of his students, and made sure his tuition only enhanced their personal style. You can see the different works produced below:

Long-time student Felice has a background in folk art which meant that she has a good mastery of certain brush techniques which have gradually expanded with her recent participation in the course.

Felice, Term 3 Painting, 2015
Felice, Term 3 Painting, 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Megan has been with Melbourne Art Class for a couple of years now and is a prolific oil painter. Megan returned to painting after many years away and has become an extremely effective painter.

Megan, Work in progress, Term 3, 2015
Megan, Work in progress, Term 3, 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monika is a Graphic Designer by day but maintains a love for painting and continues to develop her painting technical skills. She has a natural disposition to describing the figure through painting.

Monica, Term 3, 2015
Monika, Term 3, 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Learn how to paint the Figure with Marco Corsini

This term we have introduced a short painting course – Painting from a Life Model with Marco Corsini. During this seven-week course, students will be encouraged to develop drawing skills, conceptual understanding and technical proficiency in painting.

When: Saturdays, 7th November to December 19th, 9am – 11.30am

Where: Enderby Studio, 314 Church Street, Richmond.

Cost: $375

Read more about this course and enroll here.

“Marco teaches traditional/proper painting techniques and methods from the basics, taking time to explain all facets of painting. I find the content inspiring and extremely beneficial to my art practice. I trust in Marco’s experience and knowledge and appreciate his very personable style of teaching.”

Monika, Term 2, 2015 student