Gouldian Finch Illustration – Painting Workshop, Melbourne

3 DAY Gouldian Finch Illustration – Painting Workshop, Melbourne

And so, as the new year kicks off with all kinds of bangs, weve been launched into the new year like it or not. No matter what has come with it, we can all be grateful for the injection of joy that our creative pursuits brings us. For me, it keeps my heart and soul level, nourishes me and keeps me sane! So what better way could there be to start the year with an early painting workshop I say! Im really excited!

An early start from home this morning, soft, grey with a little drizzle seems like a preparation for Melbourne weather perhaps. Somehow so comforting. Grabbing the last of my workshop things, my suitcase, I made my way to the door as my little old puppy started trembling and licking his lips upon my impending departure. I cradled his little body on the drive to the station and waved goodbye as he was left behind me, peering out through the car window as I slipped away.

How could I leave my beautiful boys, I though to myself with such gratitude in my heart… The answer is simple, I am heading into an equally blessed couple of weeks ahead, sharing my time, knowledge and great loves with some of my very favourite people in some of my very favourite places and that is something Im really looking forward to. Whats more, home will be here waiting for my return, and this leaves me feeling so blessed.

The train ride to the airport was beautiful as always, cutting across waterways and bush, a dusting of eucalyptus blossom over the canopy. Snug, grey skies slipped in and out of morning, the landscape switching from grey to golden sheets of light, flushing over the landscape before being snatched away again. Classic Sydney orange sandstone outcrops catching the morning light seem to hold the mornings rise and I rushed from one side of the train to the other, despite my familiarity here, catching every bit of its beauty as Sydney neared once again. Now after the rush, the also familiar airport greets me… and I wait.

Im Melbourne bound this morning, set for a beautiful 3 day painting workshop exploring Gouldian Finch Illustration in watercolour. Its going to be a wonderful event and of course, my students are always just such a pleasure to work with! After Melbourne Ill fly down to Tasmania to enjoy our long awaited 6 day painting retreat, a very special event we are all excited about indeed. This luxury retreat experience is something in itself, but as a painting workshop where we all stay and play together with the wilderness literally at our door, it is a far more in depth learning experience for us all. From fieldwork to drawing, to watercolour painting, this natural history workshop offers it all.

Now it is time to board the plane and get moving to bring it all to life! I am looking forward to meeting you, to seeing returning students again and to all this exciting adventure will bring us. Ill be sharing the journey with you here, and on my social media of course, so look out for those posts. Perhaps youll join us next time around… See you soon Melbourne ⭐️

Getting our gouldians on!

Starting the first day out, we woke to a warm, clear skied Melbourne with the promise of plenty more to come. Our studio is large and bright and we settle in to the morning with coffee, Melbournes wonderful pastries at our fingertips and a beautiful new group of keen students. We begin by talking about our challenges, looking at ways to overcome them, some simple approaches and clear strategies to move forward, our materials, work processes and practices. Completing our drawing successfully, we are keen to get our brushes wet as fast as we can… yep, were all about the painting!

Working our way through our Gouldians, and all the learning behind the process. We continue on, steadily looking at each area, its unique balance of colour and the painting techniques required to create each of them successfully. Workshops are also a wonderful space to look at all the things that can go wrong, and so importantly, to learn about why they may occur and how to redirect those challenges to complete your painting. With the right mindset, making those ‘mistakes’ in this kind of learning environment is actually one of the most wonderful opportunities to learn, and this group were a pleasure to work with, allowing the very best of my knowledge to be shared in very real and helpful ways… and just look at these exquisite results. The learning is clear to see in the results.

The Gouldian is a tiny subject, but it is jam packed with colour, complexity and plenty of painting challenges for us to explore. In fact it is an incredibly excellent focus to learn from and we wasted no time doing just that. Tongue tied and brains tired from the deluge of inspiration, enthusiasm and information, we never wavered. My students, the youngest being just 14, remained inspiringly focussed, open minded, open hearted and engaged,  their efforts resulting in some truly fantastic growth and beautiful paintings.

Day three came to a close all too soon as I said… but dont they always! Its time to leave Melbourne once more, but no fear, I shall return to share with you again soon. Thank you to everyone who joined me and made this event wonderful, and to those who helped me make this event possible. If youd like to join me in Melbourne next time, or anywhere for that matter, let Artable Studio know and stay in the loop for event news and opportunities.

If you want to see what else is on offer, check out my workshop opportunities blog post which is kept up to date throughout the year. You can always search my site for ‘workshops 2024’ of you cant find it later on… You can also join my Instagram Community Broadcast group or on my Patreon Channel  where news hits first.

If you cant make a live / face to face painting workshop, check out my Udemy Painting Tutorials at the CLASSROOM tab of this site or join my Patreon Community for a lesson with me around natural history subjects once a month. You can see the first student work of this months Splendid Fairywren painting lesson on Patreon here on the left 💙 This is an example of the lessons available for you there, this beautiful wren study is from Cheryl Filmalter… so sweet!

With all that to keep you busy, its time to board my plane onwards to my booked out Tasmania Painting Retreat which is going to be something very very special indeed… Hello Tassie, hello students, hello luxury, wilderness, fieldwork, great company, delicious food, a bunch of new painting challenges and learning, fun, adventure, memories and creativity… I cant wait!

Thank you melbourne – SEE YOU SOON TASMANIA!!!