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Young artists explore oil painting thanks to RADF

Vanessa artists oil
Students explored oil painting techniques at a free workshop hosted by local artist Vanessa Allegra thanks to a RADF grant.

Local artist Vanessa Allegra hosted a week-long intensive oil painting workshop for young artists thanks to a grant from the Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF).

The workshop included tutoring and materials and was aimed at artists under 25 who wanted to further their study.

Beyond oil painting techniques such as glazing, framing and colour mixing, students were also taught about professionalism in the art industry as well as how to care for their artworks and select the best materials in an economic way.

Vanessa, who works as a figurative expressionist artist and studied drawing and grisaille techniques at the Brisbane Atelier, said that oil painting materials alone could be cost prohibitive for young and emerging artists to explore the medium.

“I grew up here in Bundaberg and desperately wanted to learn to paint in oils, but no one could teach me,” Vanessa explained.

“I've since learned how, but it's still not taught in schools as it's quite specialised and expensive.

“I'm about to move away for good and I really wanted to share my knowledge with young artists before I go.”

Vanessa applied for funding to subsidise the equipment needed to teach her students free of charge and said she would encourage others to investigate RADF opportunities.

“Any artist or curator with a project idea can apply, and unlike cities with hundreds of applicants for each grant, you're far more likely to have your project seriously considered here,” she said of the process.

“It's an excellent way to dip your toes into grant funding and SmartyGrants (one of the main grant application programs used in Australia).

“My actual online application took about four hours, with many hours of careful planning and budgeting and talking to industry partners before that.

“It's a simple process really, but spend the time polishing your idea and your application so that it shines.”

Vanessa artists oil
During the week-long intensive workshop, students not only learned about oil painting but also professionalism in the art industry.

Student success in art workshop

Vanessa said, while she had taught many workshops over the years, she found it fulfilling to spend a lengthy period of time with her students and discuss their artistic goals while they painted.

“I'm very passionate about art and the arts industry so my workshop was crammed full of info and learning,” she said.

“My students were all young artists, from beginner to intermediate skill levels and mostly working in acrylics.

“They loved the richness and fluidity of oils and I'm so pleased to discover most have now adopted oils as their primary medium.”

Vanessa said, since the workshop, one of her students had gone on to run regular art classes for children while the other had just held her first exhibition.

“Art has a wonderful way of making people think outside the box, and that's a skill which transfers into every area of life,” she said.

“If you are supporting artists then you are investing in the continuation of creative thought and fresh ideas, and that's such a valuable thing especially in regional areas.”

RADF is a partnership between the Queensland Government and Bundaberg Regional Council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland.

For more information about the RADF, click here.

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