Tag Archives: drawing

Aussie Animals in Colour Pencil

Colour pencil drawing

Janet will focus on Fur and Australian animals this workshop. Each day will be a different animal, with a different kind of fur. We will be doing the Curly fur of a Koala, the Spiky fur and spines of an Echidna, the sleek wet fur of a Platypus and the soft fluffy fur of a Sugar Glider. Janet will teach the different colour pencil techniques and colour combinations needed for each fur.

Aussie animals in colour pencil with Janet Matthews

Read more here

6 ways painting benefits your brain and health

Trying to keep your mind and body sharp becomes more important as you age. Although doctors recommend exercise to stay fit physically, find a creative outlet that keeps your mind active while expanding your horizons. Painting is a fun hobby that focuses your mind and delivers numerous health benefits. I offer you six benefits of painting as a hobby that promotes mental health and improves your quality of life.

1. Painting Promotes Creative Growth

Many people pigeonhole themselves in right-brain or left-brain boxes early in life and then use that conclusion to determine that is all they can be for the remainder of their lives. The practice of painting as a hobby comes most natural to creative, right-brain individuals.

art-creativity-artwork-materials
Pursuing a hobby such as painting is not limited for the creative individuals.

Pursuing a hobby such as painting is not limited for the creative individuals, though. Logical left-brain people can stimulate and nurture their artistic growth by practising painting too. Focus and practice, two skills inherent in left-brain people, allow these individuals to learn and master their creative abilities at their own pace.

2. Boost Memory by Painting

Painting strengthens memory skills and serves to sharpen the mind through conceptual visualisation and application. People who regularly practice creative pursuits such as painting, writing, and sketching have less probability of developing memory loss related illnesses as they age.

left-right-brain-painting-art
Painting strengthens memory skills and serves to sharpen the mind

Painting for a hobby allows individuals to communicate their emotions and feelings without using words. People who paint use that hobby to conquer shyness and express their personality. Using painting to tell a story lets someone who is shy let go of usual social apprehensions.

3. Builds Motor Skills and Problem-Solving Dexterity

Most of us imagine that painting increases creative skills, but many of us would be surprised to learn that it encourages critical thinking. An artist must think abstractly to bring multiple outlines to life in a painting. What the artist first imagines at the beginning a painting will often change considerably during the progression of the artwork, due to colour constraints or unanticipated outcomes that occur during artistic realisation. The creative vision evolves during the painting process, building critical skills in problem-solving. To think outside the box becomes as natural as breathing for a painter.

think-outside-the-box
To think outside the box becomes as natural as breathing for a painter.

An individual’s motor skills improve when they decide to take up painting as a hobby. Handling a paintbrush increases the mobility in the hands and the fingers. The motor skills that develop ultimately become mental shortcuts that the brain uses in everyday life.

4. Stress Relief

The problem of stress is something everyone deals with at some point in their lives. High levels of anxiety and stress play a huge part in mental-health issues. Painting and other visual arts pursuits provide an emotional release for people that struggle with pressure. Concentrating on painting allows an individual’s mind to relax and forget, momentarily, all the problems and demands in their lives that have led to a high level of stress.

stress-relief-burnout
Painting and other visual arts pursuits provide an emotional release for people that struggle with pressure.

When people create something artistic with the medium of paint, the creative mind is stimulated while easing the mental strain. Unleashing anxiety in the medium of paint helps a person relax and let go of all the pressures that trouble the mind. A low-stress level leads to a healthier, happier lifestyle and aids to improve the overall health mentally.

5. Painting Encourages an Optimistic Approach

Making beautiful artwork with the medium of paint restores an optimistic view of life. An artist starts by setting goals in his or her mind to further their painting skills and grow to be a more proficient artist. When an individual attains the next level of skill, the accomplishment inspires a positive reaction emotionally. Over time, an artists skill and progress alleviate negative emotions and gives pleasure and happiness to the painter. Painting bolsters self-esteem and motivates people to reach further levels of expertise.

painting-happiness-joy-art-painting
Painting bolsters self-esteem and motivates people to reach further levels of expertise.

Painting as a hobby creates a relaxing, open setting where artists feel safe in exploring their own vision. The bonus of growing and developing artistic skills creates a feeling of ability. Creating visually captivating artwork that others like gives the artist a feeling of pride and satisfaction in their artwork.

6. Cultivates Growth Emotionally

Artists pour their emotions into their artwork through the process of painting. This inspires artists to look at their own emotional well-being and take stock of their feelings that they may not even realise they had. Freeing emotions through painting is a purging experience for many artists. Many therapists advise painting or drawing as a therapy path for people who have endured psychologically painful conflicts. Purging emotions by painting advances healing through philosophical, emotional statements.

painting-joy-happy-good-day
Freeing emotions through painting is a purging experience for many artists.

People who paint undergo an increase in their emotional intellect level. Letting your emotions come out in paint helps you recognise your own emotional state and understand which problems contribute to your different moods.

Experimenting with different forms of painting will help you understand what sparks feelings such as sadness, happiness, love, and anger. As often as not, the emotions you sense when creating your work project onto the individuals that view your paintings. Artists can bring happiness to others, sharing their mindset with the viewers. This ability makes artists better company for themselves and for those close to them.

happy-painting-smilie-art
Artists can bring happiness to others, sharing their mindset with the viewers.

Whilst painting may not contribute much to physical fitness, the advantages to overall health are incredibly significant. Given all the beneficial qualities of this artistic hobby, it is clear that painting develops robust mental health in individuals of every age. Taking up painting promotes a happy mood not only in the artist but also in people around them.

Our list of visual art workshops on offer.

11 reasons to attend an art workshop

Most people are curious about taking an art workshop.

We ponder the decision on whether to take an art class over and over in our heads and before making the decision, several thoughts probably enter our minds.

“Is it worth it?”
” When will I ever have the time?”
“I’m not good enough.”
“Can I afford it.”
“I could never paint like that.”
“Maybe I can learn just as much from videos and books.”
“I don’t need the help.”
“This is just a hobby to pass the time.”

So that you know, some of those same instructors you admire had the same thoughts before they took their first workshop and before they became serious about their art.
Sometimes you don’t choose art; it chooses you. Taking the first step can be what makes all of the difference.
There are many ways to learn a new medium or technique with all of the books, DVDs, magazines, and online classes, you would hardly ever have to leave your house. But, none of those less interactive sources will ever compare to attending live art workshops. With a varied list of mediums and tutors available, you can most likely find something just right for you here. Then, make your arrangements with that workshop in mind.

Benefits of Painting.

1. Communication

Art makes us more human; it helps us to communicate in a different, personal language. This type of connection is a great benefit for all people and mainly for those who have conditions with a lack of communication or problems expressing themselves such as shyness, autism and other disabilities.

2. Therapy

Painting is an individual activity even in the workshop or classroom; the student enters his/her world, a world which is full of possibilities. The stimulus of the creative mind allows the student to positively isolate from reality, which provides a mental rest that lowers stress and generates relaxation and happy feelings. This is especially significant for people with aggression or nervousness conditions.

3. Self-esteem

Working in a non-competitive, relaxed environment (the teacher plays a significant role here) will enable the student to come closer to greater personal achievements; this will strengthen his/her individuality and self-esteem. This is especially significant for people with co-dependency, traumatic conditions and seniors who need activities that can improve their autonomy.

4. Mobility

Learning to hold and handle a brush and pencil will help regulate the hand movements and stimulate brain connections at the same time the skill is being developed. In older adults, painting helps them strengthen their fine motor skill.

5. Concentration and Healing

People who immerse themselves several hours painting or creating something enter a purer area, in a stable state of focus; they abstract themselves from their surroundings and time passes by without noticing it. Physical pains fade away; it is almost like entering another dimension without leaving our body.  This is a state similar to that achieved through praying, meditation, music, aromatherapy, and being in love. There have been cases of miraculous temporary healing in painters, musicians who, when in this state, can move their atrophied hands or don´t feel pain when creating or executing. Painters Renoir and Gauguin and musician Andrés Segovia are examples of this.

People who immerse themselves several hours painting or creating something enter a purer area, in a powerful state of concentration; they abstract themselves from their surroundings and time passes by without noticing it. Physical pains fade away; it is almost like entering another dimension without leaving our body.  This is a state similar to that achieved through praying, meditation, music, aromatherapy, and being in love. There have been cases of miraculous temporary healing in painters, musicians who, when in this state, can move their atrophied hands or don´t feel pain when creating or executing. Painters Renoir and Gauguin and musician Andrés Segovia are examples of this.

6. Mental Health

Painting helps us to get distracted from our problems; it helps us take anguish out and transform it into something beautiful, which is given a title. This helps us identify the feelings and increase our expression capabilities. This is especially significant for people with nervousness, mental conditions (like schizophrenia) or people going through an emotional imbalance like a break-up who use the visual expression to achieve catharsis. Adults who learn to paint fight the fear to confront themselves, learn to persevere and are encouraged to create something that belongs only to them, a personal project, unique and enormously satisfying.

7. Brain Activity

Drawing and painting stimulate both the left and right brain hemispheres. The first deals with the rational, logic elements and the second one maximise our creativity and emotions. Painting is helpful during the growth and development stages of children as well as in adulthood when it is invaluable in fighting illnesses like Alzheimer. Painting boosts imagination; the imagination of Alzheimer patients, whose memory starts to vanish, is strengthened.

8. Emotional Intelligence

Emotions are part of the creative world we all have inside. Making those emotions flow through painting helps create harmony between the heart and mind, which leads us to experiment happiness, love, empathy and peace. Within this chaotic world we live, the visualisation and relaxation that we obtain through painting are tools that in the long run, benefit our emotional, organic, energetic and spiritual being.

9. Art Appreciation

Practice, understand and talk about art creates a better understanding of it. Individuals see themselves reflected and motivated by the work of others, which also allows us to be a receptor for this type of communication, which dates back to the beginning of human history.

10. Culture

The knowledge that a person can achieve when learning to paint enables him/her to understand human history through art.

11. But more importantly, it’s Fun

Learning how to paint has all the benefits of good entertainment: we laugh, socialise, learn something new, feel motivated to finish what we start, appreciate nature and feel passion for something good.

Learning how to paint has all the benefits of good entertainment: we laugh, socialise, learn something new, feel motivated to finish what we start, appreciate nature and feel passion for something good.
So it’s up to you, for your health, your amusement or personal goal, let’s paint!

Look at the Tutors and Mediums we are offering in 2019 and book your place.

 

Pen and Wash with Cees Sliedrecht

Finally, a workshop that is hands on!

From the very first hour in this pen and wash workshop, you will be drawing. I believe in doing rather than sitting around and listening, enduring hours of talk.

  • Yes, I demonstrate but briefly to put you on track.
  • Yes, I complete my artworks in front of you.
  • Yes, I will provide you with topic handouts
  • Yes, I will encourage you not to copy things from the topic handouts exactly. I will help you to change, add, rearrange ideas and work on your story if you so wish.

The pen and wash topics at hand are varied.

They include people and figure drawing and painting. Urban Sketching topics and Street scenes in Grafton. Overseas scenes, Animals/ Birds and more.

If you are already an experienced painter and are a little tired of what you have been doing, this pen and wash workshop would be a new inspiration for you and will help you to breathe new life in your work.

It does not matter whether you are starting out or are already more advanced.

Cees Sliedrecht always loved to do art. When I matriculated, I studied to become a teacher and went to the art academies in Rotterdam and The Hague, learning the master’s way of doing things. 

After several art exhibitions in Europe, traveling the old world, I settled in Australia, Brisbane. Although my career was in business management, my heart was with the arts, and I continued having exhibitions, participated in art shows, won awards and published my work in magazines such as The Australian Palette and The Australian Artist. 

Wow, let’s start……….See you in the workshop!

Learn more

Aussie Animals in Colour Pencil.

Janet Matthews

Janet will take you on an exciting: Curly, Spiky, Fluffy and Sleek Fur, five-day workshop using colour pencil to draw the Koala, Echidna, Platypus and the Sugar Glider.

Read more here.

Workshop vacancies as at 28 Feb.

03. Malcolm Carver – Sketching and Watercolour Painting 1 Vacancy

06. Paul McDonald Smith – Landscape, Still life and portraits.  2 Vacancies

07. Fiona Craig -Painting Flowers in Oils  1 Vacancy

10. Chris Postle – Adventures in Acrylics 3 Vacancies

12. Jenni Kelly – Funtastic Acrylic 1 Vacancy

15. Cees Sliedrecht – What’s New in Pen and Wash 1 Vacancy

18. Janet Matthews – Honeyeaters and Flowering Gum in Pencil, Colour Pencil, and Graphite. 1 Vacancy

Tutors confirmed for 2019

We are pleased to announce the list of tutors thus far who have confirmed that they will be teaching in Grafton for us in April 2019.

This list is by no means complete, so it is advisable to check back often to see who else is confirmed. We will post updates on the site and on social media as the list changes.

Workshop descriptions have yet to be provided by the tutors, and as soon as we receive them, we will post them on the site.

More information

 

Janet Matthews Wildlife in Pencil, Graphite, Colour Pencil & Watercolour Pencil

Janet Matthews Dip and Grad Dip Vis Arts, WASF, AGRAF.

This is a workshop that will explore how to draw wildlife with personality and detail as well as learn many techniques for using Colour Pencil, Graphite, and Watercolour pencil. Graphite – Janet will share her techniques in graphite, drawing a long-haired animal, using resist methods, blenders, erasers and how to use the full range of different pencils.

More Information…

The Importance of Timing in Watercolour

In this exciting workshop,

there will be lots of step by step demonstrations explaining the watercolour process, the importance of the first wash, correct transparency, a full explanation of correct timing before you move onto the next wash, in-depth colour theory, tone drawing and composition.

Book now

Janet Matthews Exhibition

Janet Matthews is co-exhibiting at the Town and Country Gallery, Yarragon, Victoria from October 8 through October 29, 2017.

Drawing on her recent trips to the Galapagos Islands and South America, the birds and animals she observed in those locations inspired Janet’s pencil drawings in this exhibition. It is obvious from looking at these drawings that patience is a major factor in capturing the essence of these beautiful creatures in their natural habitats.

Janet’s work has been described as “weaving magic” with a pencil. 

Janet shares the spotlight with Darren Gilbert who is also passionate about and captivated by creatures and the environment in this world.

janet-matthews
Hummingbird – Ok lets Share, 22x22cm, Colour Pencil

janet-matthews
Hummingbirds – Its Nectar Time, 24x30cm, Colour Pencil

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Margaret Hastie’s botanical art workshop

This workshop will introduce the fundamentals of botanical drawing and progress to painting in watercolour.  Initially, the focus will be on accuracy and observation in order to train the eye to see what is there, not what the mind thinks is there.

Read more

Honeyeaters and Flowering Gums

Janet Matthews Dip and Grad Dip Vis Arts, WASF, AGRAF.

Janet will show students the techniques needed to fully explore colour pencil and graphite.  The subject of this workshop will be Honeyeaters and Flowering Gum.  Each student will design their own artwork for completion, giving each student the chance to be simple or complex in their design.

More Information…

2018 brochure now online.

The 2018 downloadable brochure is now available so that you can have all the workshop information available even while offline.

View here.

WHAT’S NEW IN PEN AND WASH

Cees Sliedrecht Art Class

Cees draws and paints unique images of life as it exists or happens around him. He uses both traditional and contemporary styles in a unique blend of energy, life, light, movement, texture, and emotion. Many of his paintings contain a deeper meaning and show multi-layered facets, challenging the viewer to examine the artwork in greater detail.

Cees believes that an ideal artwork must appear to have a life of its own. It should respond to the viewer’s mood and emotions and continue to offer change variety and engagement.

cees-sliedrecht-painting
Ballerinas waiting to be called – pen and watercolour

Art workshop details

11 Reasons Why You Should Attend an Art Workshop.

Most people are curious about taking an art workshop. We ponder it over and over in our heads and before the decision is made, several thoughts enter our minds.

“Is it really worth it?”
” When will I ever have the time?”
“I’m not good enough.”
“I could never afford it.”
“I could never paint like that.”
“I can learn just as much from videos and books.”
“I don’t really need the help.”
“This is just a hobby to pass the time.”
Just so you know, some of those same instructors you admire had the same thoughts before they took their first workshop and before they became serious about their art.
Sometimes you don’t choose art, it chooses you. Taking the first step can be what makes all of the difference.
There are many ways to learn a new medium or technique with all of the books, DVDs, magazines, and online classes, you would hardly ever have to leave your house. But, none of those less interactive sources will ever compare to attending live art workshops. With a varied list of mediums and tutors available, you can most likely find something just right for you here. Then, make your arrangements with that workshop in mind.

Benefits of Painting.

1. Communication

Art makes us more human; it helps us to communicate in a different, personal language. This is a great benefit for all people and mainly for those who have conditions with a lack of communication or problems expressing themselves such as shyness, autism and other disabilities.

2. Therapy

Painting is an individual activity even in the workshop or classroom; the student enters his/her own world, a world which is full of possibilities. The stimulus of the creative mind allows the student to positively isolate from reality, which provides a mental rest that lowers stress and generates relaxation and happy feelings. This is especially significant for people with aggression or nervousness conditions.

3. Self-esteem

Working in a non-competitive, relaxed environment (the teacher plays a major role here) will enable the student to come closer to greater personal achievements; this will strengthen his/her individuality and self-esteem. This is especially significant for people with co-dependency, traumatic conditions and elderly people who need activities that can strengthen their autonomy.

 

4. Mobility

Learning to hold and handle a brush and/or pencil will help regulate the hand movements and stimulate brain connections at the same time the skill is being developed. In elderly people, painting helps them strengthen their fine motor skill.

5. Concentration and Healing

People who immerse themselves several hours painting or creating something enter a purer area, in a very strong state of concentration; they abstract themselves from their surroundings and time passes by without noticing it. Physical pains fade away; it is almost like entering another dimension without leaving our body.  This is a state similar to that achieved through praying, meditation, music, aromatherapy, and being in love. There have been cases of miraculous temporary healing in painters, musicians who, when in this state, are able to move their atrophied hands or don´t feel pain when creating or executing. Painters Renoir and Gauguin and musician Andrés Segovia are examples of this.

People who immerse themselves several hours painting or creating something enter a purer area, in a very strong state of concentration; they abstract themselves from their surroundings and time passes by without noticing it. Physical pains fade away; it is almost like entering another dimension without leaving our body.  This is a state similar to that achieved through praying, meditation, music, aromatherapy, and being in love. There have been cases of miraculous temporary healing in painters, musicians who, when in this state, are able to move their atrophied hands or don´t feel pain when creating or executing. Painters Renoir and Gauguin and musician Andrés Segovia are examples of this.

6. Mental Health

Painting helps us get distracted from our problems; it helps us take anguish out and transform it into something nice, which is given a title. This helps us identify the feelings and increase our expression capabilities. This is especially significant for people with nervousness, mental conditions (like schizophrenia) or people going through an emotional imbalance like a break-up who use the visual expression to achieve catharsis. Adults who learn to paint fight the fear to confront themselves, learn to persevere and are encouraged to create something that belongs only to them, a personal project, unique and enormously satisfying.

7. Brain Activity

Drawing and painting stimulate both the left and right brain hemispheres. The first deals with the rational, logic elements and the second one maximises our creativity and emotions. Painting is helpful during the growth and development stages of children as well as in adulthood when it is very valuable to fight illnesses like Alzheimer. Painting boosts imagination; the imagination of Alzheimer patients, whose memory starts to vanish, is strengthened.

8. Emotional Intelligence

Emotions are part of the creative world we all have inside. Making those emotions flow through painting helps create harmony between the heart and mind, which leads us to experiment happiness, love, empathy and peace. Within this chaotic world we live, the visualization and relaxation that we obtain through painting are tools that in the long run, benefit our emotional, organic, energetic and spiritual being.

9. Art Appreciation

Practice, understand and talk about art creates a better understanding of it. Individuals see themselves reflected and motivated by the work of others, which also allows us to be a receptor of this type of communication, which dates back to the beginning of human history.

10. Culture

The knowledge that a person can achieve when learning to paint enables him/her to understand human history through art.

11. But more importantly, it’s Fun

Learning how to paint has all the benefits of good entertainment: we laugh, socialize, learn something new, feel motivated to finish what we start, appreciate nature and feel passion for something good.

Learning how to paint has all the benefits of good entertainment: we laugh, socialize, learn something new, feel motivated to finish what we start, appreciate nature and feel passion for something good.
So it’s up to you, for your health, your amusement or personal goal, let’s paint!

Look at the Tutors and Mediums we offer.

 

Why colouring isn’t just for kids.

It’s a quiet winter afternoon. The light falls softly on the colouring book. Crayons are scattered on the coffee table. Colours are spreading slowly across the mandala she’s colouring in.

Is this you? An adult involved in an activity we associate with children.

You are not alone. Colouring in has taken off in a big way amongst adults across the world, including highly stressed executives. The activity is being hailed as therapeutic for anxiety and stress and is even promoted by psychologists.

Psychologist and neuroscientist Dr Stan Rodski from Melbourne Australia has launched his own colouring books for his patients after noticing how children relax when they colour in. He was having difficulties with getting his corporate clients to practice relaxation techniques like breathing, meditation or yoga. He also conducted a number of research studies, measuring changes in heart rate and brainwaves that showed colouring in lead to positive neurological responses and improved executives’ ability to manage stress.

Does the kind of image you colour in matter? It seems that certain patterns are more conducive to reducing stress.

Dr Rodski favours patterns and shapes in his books rather than defined pictures or scenes. According to him, images that incorporate repetition, pattern and detail give the best results.

Colouring in mandalas seems to be especially effective in reducing stress levels. The symmetrical form of the mandala with its repeating patterns and complexity is said to bring about a state similar to meditation.

A study by Nancy A. Curry and Tim Kasser examined the effectiveness of different types of art activities in the reduction of anxiety and found that colouring in a mandala reduced anxiety levels of participants significantly.

Carl Jung practised drawing and painting mandalas for many years. He saw them as symbols of the Self. Having his patients create mandalas became one of the tools he used in his psychiatric practice.

So we have proof that colouring in, and specifically focusing on complicated patterns help us to relieve stress, to relax and forget about our woes, but why? Why is it such a huge hit with adults? Isn’t it also a bit silly? Grown men in suits sitting at their desks with colouring books and crayons? Are women having colouring in parties?

Is there a secret reward that keeps adults hooked on this childhood activity? Apart from the fact that that aspect might very well be why we enjoy it so much – we get to be kids again.

I think Julie Beck expresses the pleasing and rewarding effect of coloring in the best: “It takes a good while to color one of these things in completely—a few hours, I’d say—and there’s something very satisfying about watching the color slowly spread across the page, about seeing your thought and effort create a tangible, pretty thing at a reasonable, predictable pace. This rarely happens in life.”