Painting is a skill too 11/2015


I had my second painting lesson yesterday. It was great! We’re now at #paintisaverb 11/2105, and as we head into autumn, I’m feeling happy about being an explorer of the arts.

Tip 1: caffeine is essential to the creative process.

2015-03-21 13.20.47

During our lesson, my fab teacher Selina said something interesting to me – that now I wasn’t ‘playing’ anymore because I have developed some skills.

I always find it interesting how words can mean different things to each of us, in small ways or really big ways. When I use play in relation to painting, what I mean is not being boxed in by a standard of whatever you may see as ‘good’ art, it’s the making that I’ve been enjoying. But I see Selina’s point, once you have skills, it goes from play to something more deliberate and doable – I hope!

Lesson 2 was all about tonal washes, creating shapes and thinking about light, knowing when to flood the page with colour, using long brush strokes and remembering that all important negative space. I even have homework to do. Nerd alert!

These art lessons are such a great experience. There’s SO MUCH more to watercolours than I thought there would be… I was tickled pink (and teal) with the colours I was able to create yesterday.

2015-03-21 12.51.47


lesson 2 work

As Selina’s studio is in Collingwood, I decided to tootle up the road to Fitzroy to visit Deans Arts. I am surprised Deans was still open when I rounded the corner on foot, it took so long to find a car park. Those hipsters suburbs really are for cyclists and pedestrians!

Luckily it was a GLORIOUS day, so round and round I went, with the window down and a breeze on my face.

Fitzroy climbers
Fitzroy climbers

It’s true that the tools you choose have an impact on what you’re able to create. I didn’t know that a few months ago.

In fact, I think one of the best things about putting yourself in the position of being a student is that you learn just how much there is to learn about a topic; whether it’s painting, or kitchen renovations, or scuba diving.

Let’s make that Tip 2: learning is lovely.

Eventually I scored a park and made my way to Deans. So many options! Tonnes of brushes and different types of paper and walls lined with paints, row upon row of thingamajigs and whatsits which I have no clue about. Luckily, I had a list! Even so, I forgot to buy myself a colour wheel. I need one of those bad boys, pronto.

The traffic was utterly mental by the time I’d stocked up on art supplies. Multiple diversions due to tram works, it was bumper to bumper everywhere I turned. I may have taken a few odd turns as I tried to avoid the jammed main thoroughfares.

I managed not to let it make me cranky, thank goodness. It gave me time to admire the trees and the utter gorgeousness of the sky.

I spotted one tree that was way ahead of the neighbours, already a blazing glow of autumnal red. That’s the reason I’ll be using #crushingonautumn on Instagram again, I love autumn!

Even so, the drive home took so long, I decided to pull over in Camberwell for a late lunch break. I felt like I was breaking a day trip, rather than zipping home from an art lesson.

Happily, I stopped outside a gorgeous little eatery with a Julia Child quote on the window. That, and the name, The Butter Dish, drew me in.

I ordered a coffee and a tomato turnover. The turnover was so good, I snapped up a second one as I left.

Coffee at The Butter Dish
Coffee at The Butter Dish
The Butter Dish Eatery - yum!
The Butter Dish Eatery – yum!




All in all, it was an utterly delightful Saturday.

Saturdays are made for grabbing coffee and art lessons, shopping and people watching… especially when the weather is as delicious as it was yesterday. It really made me smile to see the leaves changing on Punt Road.

How was your Saturday? Are the leaves changing where you live? Are you heading into autumn or spring?

Yours in autumnal giddiness,

Annette x


Keep your eye on my Instagram feed to see more – you can search #paintisaverb, #creativeplay, #52paintings, #verbslearnstopaint and #verbslearnstodraw. Yep, I love hashtags!


8 thoughts on “Painting is a skill too 11/2015

  1. inspired by you thankyou Annette! … all good! … sounds like a lovely day!
    I’ve been a bit lax with my painting of late, as we have been away!
    so I’ve been in my studio today splashing some colours around!
    I went to many different water colour leisure classes before I decided to go to art school!
    so water colour was my forte! I then embraced all sorts of mixed media and genres during my course, … but water colours have always been my underlying love and I’ve often tried to make my acrylics and oil works have the feeling of water colours, as I love the delicate and transparent nature of them! happy painting! love m:)X she is brilliant with colour theory she’s not doing it at the moment [I think] but one can still see her charts and she has written a book too! has also been inspirational for my colour theory!
    always ready to learn more! x


    • I am surprised at how much I’m enjoying a medium I thought was all beige landscapes… you don’t know until you learn, right? I’ll check that link out too. Thanks Merilyn.


  2. I love Saturdays! You sure are developing some great skills. How wonderful! My Saturday was filled with a bit of house type stuff, late lunch at an organic cafe with my daughter and dinner with my Aunt who is 90 and still going strong. Very pleasant day x


    • I like the sound of your Saturday.
      My painting is really inspired by a great aunt of mine, I want to write about her on my blog. She started painting after she retired from her career as a teacher. What a woman!


  3. I love this post so much, it just shines and smiles as I read it! Sounds like you have skills at watercolours and you can add them to your play and painting!
    I really like the red and green balls you painted by the way.
    I am a bit jealous of that amazing looking coffee in the fab green cup, now that coffee maker has skills!
    I still think it is funny that you are going into Autumn as we hit Spring. Enjoy x


    • Hey Clare, I’m so happy you like it. It was a great Saturday. And even the horrible traffic led me to discover a lovely little eatery, so it was a win in my book. Aren’t seasons funny, if you really think about it, the fact that we’re even on this slowly rotating ball in space is kind of magical.


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