Nic Mason - ongoing practice and learning
I hold that rich realisation of Aristotle's musing- 'the more you know the more you know you don't know'. Below are some of my doings in my ongoing practice including some of the workshops and courses and groups that I have participated in and can recommend without hesitation. And in doing these, thank you to all the teachers and facilitators and fellow artist's who have helped me on my way and continue to do so.
Painting in France
In France I practiced my art both independently and as part of a formal artist residency program. I painted locally with a wonderful group of potters and painters in the AMIS des Arts d'Albi in the World Heritage City of Albi. Merci beaucoup m'avoir accueilli si chaleureusement.
During this time in France I also participated in an international Artist Residency at Camac on Marnay-sur-Seine. Thank you to Create NSW and NAVA for funding to realise this project. Merci beaucoup à la Fondation Tenot pour cette subvention qui me permet de participer. And thank you to all the artists who shared this time together, what a rich time we had!
With my family, we spent time with a wonderful French family to immerse ourselves in French life, culture and language as part of an exchange. Merci beaucoup à ma famille Lamillarie.
This project was assisted by a subvention through the CAMAC – Ténot Fondation
This project was assisted by a grant from Create NSW, an agency of the New South Wales Government and supported by the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy, an initiative of the Australian State and Territory Governments. The program is administered by the National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA).
Studies in the Painting Workshop, School of Art & Design at Australian National University, Canberra
The Post Graduate Certificate and Masters Practice Led Research Project courses are excellent in that they allow you to set your own program, do your program and reflect upon it in a structured setting with expert input. The strengths of these courses also lie with the strengths of the Painting Workshop and the School of Art and Design at ANU and include the approachability of all staff including academic, administrative and technical staff, communication of staff, inclusiveness and the ability to sit in other units, excellent studio space, library facilities, ANU gallery facilities and programs and connections with the wider world. There is a holistic approach happening here. Thanks, I feel really privileged to be part of it.
Particular thanks to staff Ruth Waller, Raquel Ormella, Emma Beer and Gilbert Riedelbauch.
Art in the Park, Bathurst - Machattie Park
This is a plein air free community art event. It is held on the 3rd Sunday of the month now at Machattie Park, Bathurst.
It is through working plein air with this group
that I have learnt how to encourage the eye to move at pace through a work - thank you Rachel Ellis. I have experienced the wonders of watching Tim Miller as he moves with beauty whilst he works. It is as if he is with his whole body composing the colour and forms that appear on his canvas.
And I have had the privilege of giving a demonstration in 2017 and an artist talk in 2018 - thanks Art in the Park, Bathurst!
It is great and you can find out more information about this monthly event here ...
David Newman White Workshop, Shalom Carcoar
Thank you David Newman White for your terrific portraiture workshop, taught in the beautiful village that is Carcoar. Here are some images of my works of the striking man that is Al. He was with us the whole weekend, sharing a little of his life through his engaging being and character filled face. A man with a brilliant smile – that’s Al. It was a treat to draw him. And draw him we did – with charcoal, with pastel pencils with chalk pastels and with watercolour washes all thrown in. So 6 portraits later from Al just in front of me, I know I have grown more as an artist – thank you Al and thank you David!
I loved the way David shared through demonstrations and I certainly learnt exponentially about using pastels. Thanks too to the terrific bunch of fine artists sharing this experience and sharing some of their stories too – it was wonderful to meet you! And then last but certainly not least, thanks need to go to the wonderful people of Carcoar and the team at Shalom where the workshop ran. Talk about hospitality – it was authentic, wholesome and just outrageously good!
Without hesitation I recommend David Newman White's workshops - they are a treat. You can find out more about David's workshops here:
The recipe: a focus with some time and a space - and there will be learning
I've got good spaces and some time now too, which goes well with my focus. This hasn’t always been the case - in the past my focus has just been fed wherever, in a stolen moment.
One thing I do know, the more I do, the more I learn, so it is terrific to have a studio … a space to do and think and do some more …
And the studio that I inhabit is rich in history. It is an old miners cottage, still with its original beams holding it strong. When I am working here I often think of the people real and imaginary who were here before me. It has been a privilege to meet some of these characters, and to have heard some of the amazing stories that they lived and of life of another time in this place.
The artist Margaret Grafton (1930-2004), is one of those who was here in this space with her children. Here are some links to her work …
Tablelands Artists Cooperative Gallery, t.arts Gallery, Bathurst
My timing was fortunate, I saw a notice through Arts Outwest regarding the possibility of an Artist Run Initiative in Bathurst and I jumped in. It was just a small group of local artists, and together we formed through Fair Trading a Cooperative. That was 2013.
It is through this Gallery that I have had the terrific opportunity to be part of the community, volunteer, learn about Cooperatives, apply for and manage a grant for the Gallery, work with musicians, a curator and other creatives, coordinate an exhibition to travel from the Gallery, staff the Gallery, hang exhibitions, be part of planning and management, work with this terrific group of people and show some of my work too.
There are a number of ways local artists and the community can be involved and contribute to the sustainability of this grass roots venture. To talk to one of the Members (who are all givers and volunteer their time - so feel free to say thanks) go to the Gallery. Their website/contact details are:
Life Drawing Group, Bathurst - with Merilyn Rice
Life Drawing Group, Rockley Studio - with Tim Miller
It is always good to find a life drawing group and these ones are good ones.
Unfortunately Merilyn's has ceased for a moment. She does however offer classes in Bathurst. I have not been a student of hers but know many a contented one. Here is a little bit more about her and her work ...
Tim also offers workshops at his studio at Rockley. For further details ...
Heather Vallance workshop, Orange Regional Gallery
Finding some form and narrative were my aims. Thanks Heather Vallance and Orange Regional Gallery for this treat of a drawing workshop. With a room full of quirky objects I couldn't be swayed away from my inclusion of deer inspiration. Here are some of my works in progress using charcoal, a rubber, water and a little imagination. With generosity and ease Heather showed all a terrific demonstration of finding form through building spherical lines - thanks Heather!
I recommend Heather Vallance as a terrific teacher. Here is a little more about her and her work ...
Cherry Hood Workshop, Mitchell School of the Arts
Thank you to Cherry Hood for your generosity in sharing so much in your workshops. These are my first watercolours and because of your open tutelage, I was able to jump into the liquid mixes with gusto and confidence. I loved how the watery masses flowed over the works and helped to create the forms - chaos and control in unison. And seeing Cherry in action is gold!
These works (Bridget and Robbie) were created due to attending a Cherry Hood workshop through being awarded the Henry Malouf Scholarship 2014 from the Art Scene Mitchell School of the Arts - thanks Cherry & thanks Paul!.
Just go, book one of Cherry Hood's workshops. They are terrific. You can find out more about Cherry's workshops here:
TAFE NSW Teachers - terrific they are ...
I have been fortunate to study at both TAFE Western Sydney Institute - Nepean Arts and Design Centre and TAFE Western NSW, Bathurst. And through these institutes I have been in the company of ...
Thanks to Dalia Moran who in my very first painting class introduced us all to the work of Margaret Woodward http://www.wagnerartgallery.com.au/artists.php?id=25. My whole being was present, intrigued – completely won over and I just wanted to learn.
To Yaeli O’hana, www.instagram.com/yaeli_ohana_artist/ your lessons were gold. Composition, mark making, stepping back from your work, being critical, how to show your work, your friend the rag, it was all there.
To Catherine O’Donnell, http://www.catherineodonnell.com.au/news/ you set a fine example and you gave me such encouragement at the time and since, which I cannot thank you enough.
To Cameron Ferguson, http://gladesvilleartschool.com.au/?page_id=153 who started me with oil paints, loved your demo - ‘don’t worry’ just get stuck in, this really was a big moment on my path.
To Paddy Robinson, http://www.finglinna.com/ who gave me such big confidence.
To Ruth Stone, www.facebook.com/RuthStoneArtatStudio15/ who directed me to direct my own work, to build up with my drawing, to lose and find focus, to push parts back and bring marks forward. It was a light bulb moment for me.
To Rebecca Wilson, http://rebeccawilsonart.com/ who opened my eyes to mixing it up on those still life sessions, using different brush strokes to pull you into a work and to search for balance and also to just do your very best. And then to watch your rich journey with Kate Kelly – thank you.
To Kiata Mason, www.instagram.com/kiatamasonart/ who wasn’t one of my TAFE teachers, but she is a TAFE teacher, she is my cousin and she is a tremendously talented artist and beautiful person. She’s been on a life long journey with making art. Congratulations on all your work. She really has, opened my eyes, challenged me and given so much support.
And lastly, thanks to Cath Barcan, http://www.cathbarcan.com/index.html Head Teacher at Nepean Arts and Design Centre http://nadc.wsi.tafensw.edu.au/, who set up a part time option which without, I doubt I would have been able to start at TAFE.
You can find out more about TAFE Western Sydney and TAFE Western NSW art courses here ...