Visitors wandering through the many beauty spots of Mornington this summer would have noticed University of the Third Age artists with their palettes settled beneath shady trees or nestled in the banks of native hedgerow.
Art Outside Classes offering the freedom to work within the natural environment were part of a new, U3A Mornington, Summertime Program. Unique, local settings such as Mornington Mills Beach, Beleura House and Gardens and historic Oak Hill Gallery provided inspirational places for enjoyable learning, painting and drawing experiences.
In mid-January, the day’s class started with an excellent talk and demonstration by Australian artist, Carolyn Harrington on the topic of painting with acrylics at Oak Hill Gallery. Working with oils, acrylics, watercolour or pencils, artists of all abilities, were then guided by experienced U3A art tuitors Jan Oliver and Maryanne MacPhee to select their own space and focus of painting. As the class began, they talked about the many artistic advantages of working outside.
Beginning with just a few brush strokes, Margaret Thompson, influenced by the great William Turner, said “…you do not need to get stuck on too much detail to begin with…you pick up inspiration from your surroundings; the natural shapes, colours, textures, light and mood that stay with you and continue to inspire your work until it is finally completed.”
One of the more advanced U3A artists, Michael Lord explained how he had ‘discovered’ his talent for drawing following a busy career and life in South Africa and Australia. He chose to draw a rusty lock on a very old wooden gate post and fence that separated the 1895 Italianate style homestead of Oak Hill Gallery from the farm sheds. Michael explained, “I like detail. By focussing on the old gate bolt, I hope to invoke the much broader meaning of the drawing – its historical context and sense of agelessness.”
Typical of U3A members, Michael said, “I have always enjoyed art but never had the opportunity to learn how to draw until I retired and attended art classes at U3A Mornington.”
Over the course of 2016, U3A Mornington will be celebrating 25 years of enjoyable learning, courses, community and social activities. And we are still growing!
Join us and get involved in our year-long and shorter courses commencing in February. You will find us at 5-17, Currawong Street, Mornington. T: 5975 9773.
by Joan Yalden