If you’re anything like me, you’ve had visions of yourself peacefully painting away in a beautiful studio, filled with large scale canvas’, mason jars holding used paintbrushes and the sweet sound of dreamy Bon Iver playing in the background. No? Just me? Okay then, a girl can only dream. Well last weekend I took a step towards that dream and joined in on the ‘Acrylic Painting Workshop with Belinda Marshall’ at the cute and cosy The Studio Workshops in Camberwell, Melbourne.
With an apron in one hand, paintbrush in the other and a head full of inspiration, I was so excited to finally learn the ins and outs of painting.
To me painting always had this mystical quality. The way that an artist can transform a blank canvas, like any other in the world, into a unique piece of art with so much story, emotion and of course beauty, is truly magical. I was excited to delve into this world, even for an afternoon, and hopefully tap into this magic and create my own piece of art.
Guided by the masterful Belinda Marshall, a wonderful abstract painter in her own right, we started with some drawing exercises to get us used to seeing an object and abstracting shapes and patterns from it. These elements would then start to make up the composition of our abstract piece, layering the paint over the outlines.
At this stage there was a little bit of nervous energy in the air, as most of the girls in the workshop had never painted before (myself included), and were a little apprehensive about putting paintbrush to paper. It seemed so permanent and forever, and I think we just didn’t want to make a mistake and stuff it up. But as I learnt, it’s very hard to make a mistake in abstract painting. It’s all so subjective and if you feel like you’ve done something wrong you can always go over it again. Amazing! And so freeing!
Before we knew it we were all painting away; blending colours, adding water, splotching with paper towel, blow-drying it dry and looking at the canvas upside down (trust me, there’s a reason for it). We experimented with big strokes, little detailed strokes, fast, wild movements and slow, deliberate ones. And finally trying to figure out when to stop painting (the hardest part).
Whenever anyone got a little stuck creatively, all we needed to do was look around the beautiful sun-lit room, where we were surrounded by gorgeous weavings, macramé wall hangings, paintings and a plethora of stunning floral arrangements. The Studio Workshops had spared no expense in making sure that we were fully equipped with all the creative inspiration we may need, and we sure took advantage of it! The delivery of lattes, chais and teas from the café downstairs certainly helped as well.
Both Anna, from The Studio Workshops, and Belinda Marshall put on the most wonderful, creative-filled afternoon made even more peaceful with the sound of rain pattering on the window and the calming acoustic music playing in the background.
I bet you’re wondering how the paintings turned out? Well, if I do say so myself, the girls and I created some amazing pieces of art. Each one unique and oh so beautiful in their own way! It was really interesting to see how each of us translated what we had just learnt and expressed it in such different ways. It just shows the vastness of creativity and how individual it can be.
I loved this workshop and left feeling like I had gotten an inspiring insight into this mystical world of painting, something I had longed for for such a long time. I was now confident enough to get those paints and brushes out and embark on my own painting journey, and who knows maybe that vision of me painting in a beautiful studio is not too far away…
Loved what you have heard about the Acrylic Painting Workshop and want to try it for yourself? Well check out Belinda’s online links below for more information about upcoming workshops and where you can purchase her beautiful creations.
If you are after a variety of amazing craft workshops led by even more amazing, talented people then check out The Studio Workshops online links below for upcoming events and general workshop goodness.