We started the Avoca Painting School in 2010. One of the essentials to the concept was to offer a painting experience similar to what I enjoyed while creating my own art. This was based on plein air painting. Personally I find it the most liberating way to work. There is a directness in painting the landscape in front of you. And it’s that connection to nature that promotes effortless mindfulness. There are probably endless benefits to working out doors, I see it on the students faces at the end of each workshop.
So I’ve set about trying to nail down the secret to my own hot chili sauce. I started by asking myself what essentials are necessary for a great paint out? Now I listed these essentials below and used them with some Avoca Painting School footage to create a fun 3 minute video.
- #1 Choose a beautiful painting location. It should be somewhere visually stunning and inspirational for a historical or mythological point of view. Oh, and it should be practical to get to.
- #2 Enthusiastic students. People often ask what they need to bring along for the workshop, I tell them “Rain-gear and a spirit of adventure”. It’s great when a group of painters arrive who understand that the journey is the destination. I encourage people to absorb themselves in the painting process, and if they have a painting at the end of that, they should consider it a bonus.
- #3 A proper painting demonstration. I’ve always believed that showing people how to achieve something vastly outweighs telling them how to do it. So I make sure to start each workshop with a painting demo, completing a painting from A – Z in real time.
- #4 Hands on practice. In my mind one of the key essentials to learning to paint is painting. It sounds obvious, but it is only though practice and experimentation that we discover new skills and artistic interests.
- #5 One-to-one instruction. I keep the student numbers low, so as to have enough time to come around and spend quality time with each student. It works so much better for both that way, I can tune into whatever level the student is working at and help with tips and techniques specific to their painting needs.
- #6 Inspiration through the group-dynamic. I am always amazed how much my students pick from each other. I shouldn’t be though, the bottom line is that I only share knowledge from Rod Coyne’s point of view. And that’s only one way of completing a painting, each and every student has their own take on it and they can learn as much from each other as they do from me. Furthermore the students take great heart in working alongside like-minded-souls, and very often the motivation to push on when the going gets tough.
We have six workshops each year, one per month from April through September. Find out dates and booking options here.
– Rod Coyne 3rd May 2023.