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Western Australia en plein air workshop.


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A group of enthusiastic students accompanied me on my Travelrite International Painting Workshop to Western Australia (26th October – 6th November 2020). Participants from Australia and New Zealand were enthusiastic, energetic and enjoyed the days painting en plein air in a wide range of locations and conditions.

We began our worksop in Margaret River painting Gnarabup Beach in the morning and then the Margaret River in the afternoon. These paintings served as a good introduction to my overall painting style and an introduction to my “Five Steps of Watercolour”. Following the demonstration (given at the beginning of each painting session) individuals enjoyed individual tuition (as requested).

The following day we travelled to Busselton Jetty and enjoyed a wonderful sunny morning and early afternoon under the shade of trees painting the famous jetty. On Saturday, we headed to Amelia Park Winery; the weather was cold, windy and raining. The winery staff kindly allowed us to paint from the balcony and brought us hot chocolate, tea and coffee. Following a successful morning painting session we adjourned to the dining room to enjoy a beautiful gourmet lunch after which we had a wine tasting.

Inclement weather continued the next day when we visited the “Mammoth Cave” where we took a self guided tour and snapped photos for a painting that evening. From there we travelled to Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse; the weather was challenging so we painted a pen-and-ink scene from within the kiosk before heading back to Margaret River.

Monday 31st was a travel day taking in various stops and tasting the delicacies of the Margaret River en route to the Esplanade Hotel, Fremantle where we painted the small harbour and Cottesloe Beach and also travelled to Rottnest island where a further two paintings were undertaken. After three days in Fremantle we went to Cervantes stopping at Yanchep National Park, having lunch there and sketching the surrounds. From there we continued to Cervantes stopping at Lake Thetis to look at the famous prehistoric stromatolites.

The paintings at Cervantes and the local areas were spectacular. Taking our pre-ordered lunches we travelled to Nambung National Park which is within the Pinnacles desert. There we painted the limestone pillars against a desert landscape and in the afternoon, a view towards the Indian Ocean, broken only by the wildflower flora in the foreground. The next day we painted at Hangover Bay capturing the broad expanses of the Indian Ocean, sandy beaches and unique Western Australia flora.

The painting holiday provided numerous opportunities to paint en plein air. Critique sessions were held at regular intervals as well as on the final day when everyone shared their excellent paintings and discussed what they had learnt.