Art classes. Love.

Angus gave me a huge H frame easel and giant canvas for Christmas. It is a lovely object, even before it gets beautified with paint splatters and creative juices! I have been saying for a while now how I would love to paint again, and now there are no excuses!

But it has been so long since I picked up a paintbrush, that I felt I needed a bit of  refreshment at a workshop or two, or three….I discovered that the wonderful  Still at The Centre, which is an Art Gallery just down the road from my studio ( that I had a solo exhibition at), had created a plethora of art classes. So I am attending just about all of them!

I have been re-familiarising myself with acrylics, gouache and ink; life drawing, still life drawing and creative drawing. I have discovered Art Journalling (love.).

I adore my teachers, all of them are successful local artists with so much to share. I respond well to the time pressure of the three hour classes. I really, really enjoy creating works in the company of my classmates. And working in a different studio is fun (I don’t have to worry about paint spilling on my divine new carpet!). And then there is the art supplies store in the gallery…delicious den of delights…how I love to browse through all the pastels, pencils, papers and paints.

I am at a different class nearly every day. I load up my gear, and ride my bicycle there,  carrying my canvas like a shield! And you would think that I would be burning up creative energy and not have space left for my photography and projects…but no! I have never been so prolific. I am  art-ing everyday. Oh bliss, bliss, bliss!

If you are in Byron Bay, you must, must, must come and participate in an art class. You can just join in for individual classes, come to a few, or attend the whole term. They are challenging and relaxing in equal measure, and always fun. And if you are not in Byron, well, go and find an art class near you, and do life drawing, or painting or whatever takes your fancy. (do it!, do it! do it!  ; )  )

Last night I did a quick little count of  how many classes I have done since leaving school…I have listed over 70 so far. Yes. SEV.EN.TY.  Most of them are art or creativity based. From international workshops : fashion illustration in Paris, fashion photography in London, Children’s book illustration in Bologna, PhotoShop in Sante Fe, Fine Art printing in Maine, and nature photography in San Francisco.  To my time in Sydney where I studied at the Australian Centre of Photography (and still do go from time to time), The National Art School, UNSW and COFA and the ESE College. I even did a year at the School of Colour and Design (wonderful!). In Byron Bay I have done a few computer courses – Illustrator and DreamWeaver, plus screen printing, ink press. I have taken French classes all over ( I keep on trying!!), stand-up comedy, acting and singing! Then there are the online courses…

You know what? I am a workshop wizard. Permanently curious. Too busy to commit to full-time study. I just love discovering a new class, planning for it and anticipating what will happen. The light social interaction. The mentorship from the teacher. Of course, I love some more than others. Sometimes I discover that I am just not ‘into’ whatever it is I signed up for, and even that is a valuable lesson. Sometimes the class leads me to discover something entirely new about myself!

I will be in Sydney over Easter, and have been scouring the internet to find an interesting class I can go to while I am down there! Nothing has leaped up yet 🙁

What about you? Are you a ‘continued education’ junkie? What are your recommendations for me!

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Welcome to my blog Davenpeeps!

If we haven’t met yet, I’m Jane Davenport! I’m a professional artist, art workshop teacher, 5x bestselling author, art supply creator and self-diagnosed art supply addict!

I’m a creativity expert who has guided tens of thousands of women back to their art, defying their self imposed creative gravity and making art with joy and confidence. I share my mixed media art and drawing techniques with everyday artists who feel their creativity calling them to play with colour, texture and their art supplies. I hope my blog can help you embrace the mess, let go of perfectionitis and experience the joy of creativity.


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