Artwork by Jenny Kyng
Growing up in a household where art materials were plentiful–thanks to my mother’s vocation as an artist/art teacher–I started drawing at the age of 2. I was lucky that my parents were somewhat bohemian and didn’t mind the mess. I’ve had a passion for all things art and creativity-related ever since. In this life, however we have time enough for only one obsession. As the ancient Chinese saying puts it: “if you try to chase 2 rabbits, you end up catching neither”. After flirting with both acting and writing in my youth, while still practicing art, I came to the point of having to choose. Art won out in the end.
Along the way, I’ve had to make a living. I was tired of being a starving artist. Being hungry is not so inspiring after all! I was directed into nursing when I was 25.
More recently I’ve become a counsellor and run art therapy groups which I really enjoy.
The famous Australian artist Brett Whitely called painting: “a difficult pleasure”. There have been times when I’ve had a love-hate relationship with it. In the end, I think, the best approach is to follow a love of learning for its own sake, to quote Robert Greene from his excellent book: “Mastery”. It’s not something that can be driven by a desire for praise, approval or success, but is instead enlivened by the urge to create; to share that joy with others and to learn more.
Art is the centre of my life. I’ve devoted a huge amount of time, physical energy and emotional investment to art. Luckily my husband is very supportive and patient! I’ve annoyed my friends by sticking vehemently to my art-making schedule, treating it just like a job; refusing to go out for lunch or chat or text on those dedicated painting days. If I don’t get to put the hours in, I start to feel very frustrated and restless. Luckily, I’ve got a knack for fitting everything in.
Everything can be a challenge in art –and different things are challenges on different days. But learning skills and techniques for seeing better—more accurately– and for correcting mistakes is a crucial skill in itself so this is something I really need to learn more about.
I want to learn the Old Master techniques of drawing accurately and also working in layers when painting, especially the Venetian technique.
It looks like the only place where an artist can learn the Old Masters’ techniques in a serious way, so I think it’s excellent. I can see from the introductory videos that a great deal of research has gone into creating the course, unlike so many courses which are superficial and lack authenticity.
I really want to learn the Old Master techniques in depth through concerted study and practice–and there is nowhere else to learn them that provides such quality instruction.
I’m a hard worker and a very serious student with a love of learning and a track record of sticking things out. I can assure the panel of judges that I will not waste such a great opportunity should I win a place in the course.