Sunday, 17 March 2013

Acrylics Classes & Workshops with De Gillett

Here's some photos of happy artists who have learned De Gillett's unique techniques with acrylic paints in the last week.

Arts Tree offers weekly classes in Acrylics priced at $32.50 per class (booked in 4 week blocks for $130.00) on

Wednesday Mornings 9:30 to 11:30
and Thursday evenings 6:30 to 8:30pm. 

If you prefer a two day immersion, we have spaces available in an

Acrylics (texture spatter and glazes)
workshop on April 6th and 7th, 2013
Cost $195.00 per person

at the wonderful Arts Tree Classroom at Wynnum. Give us a call on 0437 146 359 or email to book yourself an escape from real life that's all about you for a change!

So many aspects to learn! You build your ground, then spatter, then local colour, then linework.... and THEN you can start the fun of glazing!

 Chris did a great job pulling that macaw back out of the mass of colour that had developed around it. It just took the smallest amount of linework to find him again :)
 Jan, what a sweetie. She was very impressed to have made such a wonderful parrot painting for her wall at home!
 Jazmin working hard at finding those edges.
 Julia in the midst of glazing, developing all kinds of subtleties with her lily pond. Very Monet, Julia!
 This is Sylvia's very first painting in acrylics. More than a little impressive!
 Val made a beautiful gentle study of this flower, with layers and layers of glazing.
 Val worked hard to bring these red flowers into unity with the background, and got there in the end! 
 Some of the group working away at the recent Acrylics workshop with Yurara Art Group. What fun we had!
 Yes, we throw paint!

Saturday, 2 March 2013

We need some new words

Musings from the pen of De Gillett, one of our Arts Tree tutors. De has recently graduated with her Bachelor of Fine Art from 3 years of full time study at the Queensland College of Art, an experience which has inspired much soul searching on what it is to be an artist.

We sorely need some new words for this strange art world in which we live. Just as the Irish have many words for green and the Inuit many words for snow, we similarly need an expansion of “artist” into the plethora of distinctions which that one word contains.
“What is art? What is not art!” cried those in thrall to the brave new world of modernity in the early 1900’s. Indeed, what is an artist? Everyone can call themselves an artist, according to post-modern thought of the 1970’s. The term has become bloated and unwieldy, distended beyond any meaningful use or significance.
An artist, surely, is one who makes art — but no; the conceptual primacy espoused by art institutions worldwide makes a mockery of that notion. The idea is all, no matter any lack of an art object which might exist in order to convey that idea to the viewer. The untrained eye of the visually illiterate can apparently not be trusted to comprehend the threads of contemporary discourse which inform any “successful” contemporary work. A word is needed there, to define those artists who make no art objects; whose practice is entirely, intellectually, academically cerebral.
There are many who identify as artists who also make no (or precious little) art, in an entirely different way. Those who occasionally like to draw, or paint — any of the traditional or new media ways to create an image. These amateur practitioners need a new word, too. A home cook is not necessarily a chef, a blogger is not necessarily an author, and a distinction needs to be made between those who play with any pursuit for their own enjoyment and those who pursue it earnestly, with all of their being.
We rightly shrink from awarding the title of doctor to one who avidly pursues medical diagnoses through the internet. An architect is more than an ardent devotee of “Grand Designs”. Our sporting heroes might indeed kick a ball around on the weekend, but their abiding passion is also pursued as their primary focus. Why then this aversion to linguistically dividing the professional practicing artist from the hobbyist?
Within the art world, we refer accurately to curators, gallery attendants, compositors, graphic designers, cartoonists et al. How curious that our definitive skills are so challenged by the notion of defining an artist. Are we so in thrall to the self-congratulatory in-joke of the contemporary art world that we suspend our own judgement? Can it be true that we are so insecure, so unwilling to offend the self-styled arbiters of contemporary success that the citadel of modernist and post-modern thought is simply never questioned?
An art student is sometimes a hobbyist, sometimes an artist-in-the-making; actively seeking the treasures that making art can bring to them, pursuing new knowledge and technical skills, filling the tool-box of their artistry with every contrivance and instrument they can find. A life-long studentship is, therefore, an imperative component of what makes an artist. We need a word to define that moment where the artist “becomes”— beyond a beginner, but still hungry for a lifetime of development.
We need new words.
An artist makes art. Not as a hobby, not as a sideline oft put aside for another, bigger reason. An artist is an artist, before she is a mother, a wife, a woman. An artist main-lines creativity, no matter the cost. An artist is rarely off duty, living instead as a transcriber of sensation, colour and experience, always alert for that gritty catalyst that may in time become the next pearl.
I am an artist.

De Gillett, March 3rd, 2013

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Our first ink workshops

INKS WORKSHOPS at Arts Tree, February 2013

Grace with her incredible butterfly painting- at this point, it was still way too wet to stand up for a photo to be taken!

This is where the butterfly started, with a careful charcoal drawing. This was Grace's second piece for the weekend- Grace has done inking with De Gillett before, so knew what was possible!

Here is the beginning of Grace's eagle- beautifully texture pasted and waiting for some colour.

The eagle was painted all over with gold acrylic before adding ink
The inks start to flow- this is where we all stand around watching, hearts in our mouths hoping for brilliant results!

The finished eagle. Well done, Grace- it's brilliant!

Helen with her beautiful flowing dancers

Helen with her hydrangeas. Everyone managed to get two pieces finished during the 2 day workshop

Some frogs painted by Karen. How lovely and wet this scene is!

Turtle, waves and water- well suited to this technique of inking!

Karen proudly showing off her first ink painting

Margaret goes nuts with the texture paste

Margaret, a first time inker with her dancer

The inks go where they will, reacting to the textured surface you have created

A proud Margaret with her irises, all finished.
We are off and racing at our brand new Arts tree classroom at Wynnum! Here's some photos of our wonderful students at work during the Inking workshop in February 2013. We've booked more Inking workshops with the wonderful De Gillett on:

April 15th and 16th (Monday and Tuesday) and May 11th and 12th (Saturday and Sunday). Find out more about our art classes and art workshops at and start doing something all about what YOU want!