Capsicums are not just for cooking

Our teens’ Studio Art class produced some incredible drawings and paintings in the – of the humble capsicum.

Zoe, acrylic on canvas, 2018

Michelle Zuccolo presents the class with different materials each week, including still life and examples of famous artwork and gives students the opportunity to try drawing and painting in the same style. The last few week’s classes featured capsicums and the students used charcoal and pencils, creating beautiful tonal drawings. Once exploring the structure of the capsicums, students recreated them with acrylic on canvas. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

10 things a beginner artist needs to know

The beginning of an artist’s journey can be fear-inducing, overwhelming, exciting, inspiring (among many other things)! These ten tips will hopefully help you successfully continue on your creative path, with the knowledge that the journey is just as important (if not more) as the destination.

1. You will really learn how to “see”

Drawing is the foundation of many art practises, and you will most likely find yourself learning how to draw again, and during this period, you will learn (or re-learn) how to “see”.

The moment that lightbulb switches on for a beginner artist is unforgettable. It is when you move away from the way you drew as a child. For example, a nose is not a “nose” anymore – it is made up of many smaller shapes – balls, cylinders and curved lines. You will begin to look at previously mundane objects around you and break them down into parts – analysing the different shapes within shapes; the negative space around them; the graduation of lights and darks. Learning how to draw truly opens up a new way of seeing – and it is so exciting!

2. Always be curious

Have your eyes open. Be observant; look at and be engaged in the physical world around you. It can not only inspire you, it can bring forth those moments of inspiration that wouldn’t normally strike you if you didn’t have your eyes truly open.

3. You are unique

You have a unique way of viewing the world and you have chosen to share this through art. Someone, somewhere will identify with your view and love what you do, and even pay for it. Don’t be scared if your work is different; as we all know, controversial artwork in the past has created art movements.

4. Don’t compare your work to others’

The only work you should be comparing is your new work to you old. Everyone is on a journey, and there will always be someone who is ahead of you. It’s very easy to compare your work to other artists’; however, this is not useful if it is affecting your art practice in a negative way. Learn from others, be inspired by others, and reserve the comparisons for your studio only.

5. Prioritise your creative practise

Create every single day or as often as you can. It’s the only way you will learn, and improve. Overcome your internal resistance; it is important to prioritise time to be creative in your life if you want to grow.

6. Keep learning

You don’t have to attend traditional art school to become an artist, however, taking art classes to improve your skills will help get you there faster. If you’re interested in a certain style – research it. Visit galleries and find art the inspires you – then copy it. Learn how the masters created their work; learn about the mistakes they made, and their successes. Take technical art classes, or engage with your local art scene and join an art community to be in the company of other creatives. And don’t stop learning!

7 Embrace your mistakes

The best thing about making mistakes is that you can learn from them. What you might see as a mistake at first, could be part of the journey to a great piece of art. When you believe you have made a mistake, try and push through and continue working. It is often a blockage, and it takes courage to continue working with it. Or leave the piece of work so you can sit with it for a few days – you will often come up with a solution (and you have learnt so much more than if you destroyed the work).

8. Stop thinking

During the creative process, have you ever experienced what can be described as “flow”, where the concept of time disappears and so does your internal dialogue, and it is just you and your work? It’s hard to switch off your inner critic, or your daily running dialogue, but when you do – magic happens. Sometimes it helps not to have a perceived end-goal, and just create for the sake of being creative. This can also help break the initial mental barrier preventing the physical act of creating – to stop thinking/judging/analysing and put that pencil or brush to paper. See what happens.

9. It takes time

It can be frustrating when you are just starting out and can see a masterpiece in your head, but you don’t yet have the skills to bring it to life. Be kind to yourself and remember that every artist has experienced this part of their journey. It takes a lot of work. Enjoy the journey and the improvements you notice in your work along the way.

10. Believe in yourself

Self-doubt can be your biggest enemy. Until you really believe in yourself, you will not understand the true enormity of this statement. These tips above should help you get some of the way there, however you can only truly know when you believe in yourself. We believe in you!

 At Melbourne Art Class we offer a range of art classes for every step of the artist’s journey. You can view all of our current courses here.

Written by Lauren Ottaway

Students’ work from our Abstract Painting Workshop

Marco ran an Abstract Painting Course over the long weekend.

Over seven hours, students explored colour theory, conceptual elements, tone, colour and composition in an artwork.

Students were given a number of ways to approach abstraction by looking for compositional ideas and manipulate shapes and forms. They began by creating collages using images from magazines, cut up paper, or by drawing from life using Still Life. These collages were then used to create the composition on their canvas.

This course provided a unique opportunity to explore abstraction and different compositional elements of an artwork. Take a look below at the incredible work that was produced during the workshop!

Below are the initial abstract concepts:

And here are the final works:

If you would like to join our next Abstract Painting Workshop, visit our course page and join our waiting list!

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

Works from our Painting Students

Hilmi’s Painting Class for Term One focused on one composition with different Still Life objects. Students could choose what would feature in their work, including shiny porcelain vases, old books, pottery and painted wine bottles. They were also challenged with a backdrop of creased sheets.

The class focused on oil painting techniques and students were encouraged to develop drawing skills, conceptual understanding and technical proficiency in painting using a classical approach modified for contemporary use. Hilmi used some of the elements of Flemish Painting technique, which he has previously taught in a three-day workshop, with a faster contemporary, approach.

We are very proud of what our students have achieved! Below are their works in progress – we hope you enjoy them!

Enrolments are now open for Term Two Painting and we welcome people of all skills levels. You do not have to have attended Term One to join us – Hilmi will help you wherever you are on your artistic journey! You can enrol and find out more via our course page: https://melbourneartclass.com/painting-with-hilmi-baskurt/

Ivana
Ivana
Luka
Luka
Robyn
Robyn
Shlomo
Shlomo
Fiona
Fiona

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/