When was the last time you took time-out from your busy schedule and indulged in a true personal passion? For me, it was last weekend. I had the opportunity to attend a 3-day workshop to learn from John Wilson, Australia’s foremost landscape artist.
Sometimes life is so hectic it is difficult to find space to do the things that means so much to you. Sure, family is important and my number one priority however, there are personal pursuits deeply entrenched in everyone that make you who you are. You need to allow yourself to participate in your passion, allow yourself to escape from the hectic lives we lead. So do yourself a favour, make some time for yourself and turn your passion into a priority.
As you know painting is my passion. Spending quality time learning from a master like John Wilson was an opportunity I could not pass up. John was extremely generous with his time, sharing techniques he has perfected over his outstanding 40+ years of experience as a professional artist.
John pitched his mentoring perfectly. The workshop was extremely easy to follow, broken down into 3 simple repeatable processes of theory, demonstrations, then painting.
- Theory: John would enlighten us with colour theory and even physics believe it or not. Most important was observational skills; observing and understanding how things in nature work. Like the way light bends around a tree trunk to not only light up one surface but radiate and reflect light on the opposite surface. Also, the importance of the atmosphere and how getting the under-painting tones right can make a massive improvement in the depth perception of your painting.
- Demonstration: This is where John’s experience really shone. John would walk us through every step of his painting process; sketching, colour matching, mixing techniques, brush selection, the use of medium and paint application. So amazing to see his scenes come to life.
- Painting: John would pause his demonstration at a logical stage. Then it was up to us to try to replicate his masterful technique. While we all were working hard at painting, John floated around the studio offering helpful advice and fine tuning each student’s skills.
Paintings I produced at the workshop
The workshop was conducted at the studios of Brisbane painting classes. A comfortable creative space at Albion just on the north edge of Brisbane CBD. A previous blog post of mine talked about how good their painting classes are and the tutoring of Marcel Desbiens, you might find it an interesting read.
Put this workshop at the top of your list if painting is your passion – one of the best I have ever attended. I’d like to thank John Wilson for being so generous with his time and sharing so much of his experience, you are a legend. I will definitely be employing what I have learnt into all my future works.