Demonstration with Liquitex, Matisse and ARA acrylic paints and mediums

Last Thursday we hosted a demonstration of acrylic painting techniques by Helen Johnson, an artist with an ever rising profile both in Australia and internationally (and an Abbotsford local). Helen was incredibly generous, sharing her own personal methods for using acrylic paint, mixing colours, and using gloss and matte mediums and gels. She showed us how she creates her own stunning paintings, and talked a lot about how she wants a painting to look and what she wants the feel of it to be. I was really interested in the way she spoke about creating a painting being about setting up a problem for yourself to solve, and what an absorbing process that can be.

Helen’s work has recently become both more textural, and more abstract, and she showed us how she always starts a painting, with a sweeping abstract gesture and then she uses that as a base to work into wet on wet. Participants were provided with Liquitex, Matisse and ARA acrylic paints and mediums to experiment with on a range of primed linen and cotton canvas. The group of us lucky enough to attend this (free!!) demo were completely mesmerised. Helen was both insightful and inspiring.

Next week, Thursday the 10th of October we will be hosting an oil painting demo to be given by Adam Lee. These demos by contemporary Melbourne artists are turning out to be so valuable. Every week I think, “This person is amazing”. The artists are so generous sharing their ideas, and give really personal insights into their own practice, and how they think about and use their particular materials.

Julia Gorman 2013

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