Show and Tell with a Renowned Artist

June 11, 2018 at 11:55 AM

It's not every day you get to show and tell your work with an internationally renowned artist.

New Zealand expressive oil portrait artist Mark Olsen stopped by Saint Kentigern Girls’ School last week to meet with Year 4 art class students to share his steps to becoming an artist and provide painting tips and tricks he’s learned along the way.

Mark was 38 when he became an artist himself. He explained that ‘anybody can learn to paint; they just need to practise.’ He emphasised that getting started is the hardest step, but the biggest trick is to just keep working.

To help with inspiration, Mark encouraged the girls to combine other fields like mathematics into their work to add personality or expression to any painting through a process called ‘cross learning’. He explained how Leonardo Da Vinci was an advocate of cross learning. Although the Renaissance artist produced less than 30 complete paintings, his pieces have incredible value because he incorporated other disciplines like maths and science into his masterpieces.

During his visit, Mark also checked each student’s progress with their current assignment, a hat competition! The goal is to create a mixed media portrait of the most unique hat possible. Mark was able to critique each student’s work and offer helpful advice to improve their work. ‘Painting gets easier and easier with each piece as you improve your skills,’ he said. But he reminded the girls that practise is the key to progress.

Each student left class with a signed copy of Mark’s work.

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