Monday, 15 December 2014

Adelaide Art Society : Watercolour Tour 2014

 Adelaide Botanical Gardens 2014
The trees in Australia are unbelievable!

I promised to  share news of my workshops  while on tour in Australia this year. So this first blog post is about my visit to Adelaide Art Society.

I started my Australia 2014 tour in Adelaide. I had been invited by the wonderful Adelaide Art Society which is lucky enough to have its' own building for art courses, talks and demonstrations. Beforehand emails had been exchanged regarding my workshops. So everything was organised well in advance. On arrival my husband and I met the organiser at the society venue. The person behind my being there. The wonderful Pam Saint.

Pam really is wonderful. A kind, enthusiastic and warm personality. As soon as we met I knew the week ahead was going to be terrific. And it was. In every way.  I have a certain way I like to set up a room for my workshops and as my husband travels with me this is his area. But at this location we had wonderful help and the room was ready in no time. Whatever I needed seemed to magically appear from easels to the ipod base for my music which is now a huge part of my teaching sessions and very popular , as I am constantly being asked for my music selection.

I  stayed at the nearby Tynte Street Apartments which were brilliant. This meant I could walk the five minutes  to class each morning and back again. Very easy!

The first two day workshop course began on the Tuesday and I was thrilled to meet such a fantastic group of artists.  After a brief introduction, I  began the course. I love the enthusiasm in sessions like this. A buzz fills the air that is hard to describe. The second workshop was as exciting with the next group of artists and I loved my time here.

I also loved the names of professional artists  I was given. Artists that I hadn't heard of before who came up in conversations. I must check one female artists' name as I felt very inspitred by her work. I will share her name when I have time in another blog post.

I gave a talk on the Friday evening for members of the Adelaide Art Society, at the same venue. The room quickly filled up and as I made my presentation I noticed a lady in the front row of the audience. She looked quite emotional at one point. She came forward to buy a copy of my book but unfortunately the last one left had been put aside as it had a damaged cover. I chose to give it away to her free of charge. We talked and she told me about her brother.  Amazingly, she is the sister of the  late David Keys, the founder of Art Spectrum.  Watercolour products that I adore. I had talked about how much I particularly loved Australian Red Gold in my presentation. I am so sad that I missed meeting this incredible man who had passed away but to be told by his sister that he would have loved to have met me, because of my own passion for colour . This really is a memory I will cherish forever. The next day Yvonne brought in papers for me to see. Wonderful documents that I have brought back to UK with me and am still reading, being inspired by each word. These papers include Davids notes and the celebration of his life from Davids' farewell. I was so touched by the words 

"Rest in peace David, and I'm sure there will be a ready supply of Art Spectrum colours up there beyond the Pearly Gates, and I'm also reliably informed that everyone up there uses oils and acrylics are banned " 

I so wish I could have met David. As strange as this may seem I felt as though an angel touched my shoulder and I was meant to be there. In Adelaide, meeting this lady and hearing about David Keys. Because an idea for a new book was born this year that I will be working on for some time, starting next year. A new project. This magical meeting gave me the push I needed to go ahead. How incredible life is. I will be reading these treasured notes and learning so much. So David, you are still inspiring artists  from all over the world. And long may you continue to do so.

But back to my visit to Adelaide. What a charming place to live!  Its' beautiful. While there I managed a day tour of the Barossa Valley which is absolutely gorgeous. And yes we did try a few Australian wines. We did manage to go to a wildlife park here too where I saw and fed wallaby, fell in love with koala and saw my first fairy wren. I little blue bird with stunning colour. I also visited the  wonderful Botanical Gardens which are well worth a visit.

Adelaide 2014 

The location of Adelaide Art Society is near a high street full of fascinating restaurants. In fact, when eating at night we were spoilt for choice and all were within easy walking distance of our apartment. A short drive away we were easily in range of even more tempting places to eat and I have to say, the food here is far too good and very hard to resist!

Near the Art Society itself is a fantastic bakery that sells incredible goodies for lunch. I learned what sliders are. Little delicious buns with tasty fillings. I also, unfortunately, discovered what "bee stings" were. Yummy cakes with honey on top and a cream filling.

Would I return to Adelaide Art Society? Yes, in  a heart beat. Everyone, seriously, was fabulous. Warm, welcoming, as fascinated in watercolour as I am. Plus the variety of talent in each workshop was stunning.  I'll remember the artist moving from Arcylics to watercolour for the first time and within just one day on my course leaping from heavy application of colour to light, allowing pigment to flow in exciting ways. I will think fondly of Di who was nervous at first but shone in her own terrific style. Even though she didn't realise it at first, she can paint in a loose style.  There is so much I want to share about Adelaide.

Since I have left I have heard the society would love me to return for future workshops and there are mentions in emails now of rather exciting venue choices if I do go back. So I will be seeing what I can physically fit in, because I know I need to visit new destinations who are patiently waiting for me to hold workshops too. But, oh my, this is a place I have to go back to and see people I desperately want to paint with again.

To Adelaide Art Society, thank you so very much for being so professional, so organised and so welcoming. You are on my hit list of places I want to come back to!

By the way, here I painted my first emu which now lives with one of the artists  who attended my workshops!

Adelaide 2014


My next blog post will be about my time teaching in Sydney


Craig Weir said...

Thank you Jean. I love reading your blog and sharing your journey. I find your posts both fascinating and so interesting, especially the beautiful story regarding David Keys. I look forward to seeing your creative art inspired by your travels, especially to Australia ☺️��

Jean Haines SWA, SFP said...

Hi there Craig! How fantastic to see you. I loved Australia and everyone I met there. I cannot wait to return! And hopefully we will meet up again at that time, until then keep painting. X Jean