Born in Somerset, England in 1953, Amanda Jane showed promise in art from an early age. Encouraged by her father, Amanda would always spend her spare time sketching and designing. She continues paints in her maiden name to honour him. At the age of 17 Amanda received her first commercial commission for a mural that still exists.
After travelling around the world and becoming exposed to multiple cultures, Amanda finally settled in Australia. Until 1986, Amanda had not had any formal Art training. She started a class with Thelma Cardwell and later with Beryl McCarthey. Amanda then studied oil painting with the McNeil Academy of realist artists for 5 years and exhibited in Bendigo, Echuca and Melbourne. Till now Amanda‘s talents were acknowledged in the form of several awards from the numerous art exhibitions she had entered throughout Victoria.
In 1998, Amanda moved to Woodend and joined the Woodend Art Group and started experimenting with new artistic methods of expression. Amanda has entered and sold works at the prestigious Camberwell Art Show since 2009. Amanda continues travelling this road to discoveries of new mediums and techniques. She is never short of ideas or subject. At present Amanda‘s works can be viewed at local Galleries, Group Exhibitions and Woodend Art Walk
Born in the UK in 1964, Helen immigrated to Australia in 1969 with her family. They settled in the Victorian rural coastal town of Inverloch where she enjoyed an idyllic childhood full of wild adventures, gorgeous scenery and her beloved horses.
Helen has always been interested in art and enjoyed drawing throughout her childhood. Introduced to oils during secondary school, she dabbled in this medium until discovering pastels in 2006. Initially she attended classes with pastel artist Kim Hope-Balmain, daughter of renowned Melbourne tonal painter John Balmain (1923-2000), falling in love with the gorgeous pastel and paper colours available, the forgiving nature of pastel painting, and the glorious effects which are able to be achieved. Until 2011 she focussed mainly on animal portraiture in a realist style, selling paintings through word of mouth. More recently however, and particularly after an inspiring trip to Italy, her focus has changed and she has been concentrating on landscapes, sea scapes and portraiture.
Before moving to Woodend in 2014 Helen was an active member of Peninsula Art Society, and McClelland Guild of Artists as well as the Pastel Society of Victoria. She regularly attended demonstrations by both local and international artists, and has attended workshops with artists such as Joanne Seberry and Agata Lalek. She was the winner of the Victorian Pastel Society award for the Best Emerging Artist of 2012 and winner of Best Pastel at the McClelland Guild of Artists art show in 2013.
I am a self-taught artist and have been drawing and painting for as long as I can remember. A life time of looking at, thinking about and doing art.
I have exhibited in many exhibitions and have won awards from the Wild Life Art Society for my work.
I have commissioned work in the USA, England and France.
The media that I work in are clay, textile, papier-mache, oils, water colour and acrylic.I love it all.
Helen is a self taught artist who works in pastel, watercolour, acrylic and mixed media. She has found the wonder of colour and light a constant inspiration over her 30 years of painting. Helen has taught painting privately and professionally over many years and her commitment and passion for art is revealed in her involvement in a number of art societies and committees. She is also the Artistic Director of the Kilmore Art Expo, and is a participant in the Mitchell Shire Artists' Open Studio event which runs annually.
Helen's work has been published in the Australian Artist Magazine, Artist's Palette Magazine, Ehues (AGRA) and the Pastel Society of Victoria magazine. Sale of her work and awards won encourages Helen to continue her artistic journey. She has entered and sold her work in numerous art shows and exhibitions over many years and to date has won over 120 awards, prizes and commendations. Her paintings hang in private and corporate collections throught Australia, Japan, USA, New Zealand, Denmark and Scotland.
She regularly exhibits at the Old Courthouse Gallery, Seymour;Australian Guild of Realist Artists Gallery, Camberwell; Cope-Williams Winery & Gallery, Romsey; Veneto Blu Gallery & Restaurant, Seymour and Blue Dragonfly Restaurant, Kilmore along with many major regional art shows.
Margaret Morgan Watkins
I have always been interested in art and, in particular, painting. When my children were at kindergarden I took up oil painting, tutored by Ron Reynolds and Marion Bruere. I took watercolour lessons from Julie Ford at Mitcham Art Society where I became Treasurer and Secretary for several years prior to moving to Kilmore in 2001.
I had two years of watercolour lessons from David K. Taylor, and have attended workshops tutored by Alvaro Castagnet, Amanda Hyatt, John Orlando Birt and Joseph Zbukvic to name a few.
I have received awards judged by such noted artists as Carl Anderson, David K. Taylor, Richard Chamerski and Kevin Boucher. Many of my paintings have been purchased by interstate and overseas buyers. I have been commissioned to paint Australian landscapes in watercolour for hanging in Malaysia.
In recent years I have had solo exhibitions at the MAD Gallery in Lancefield and the Heathcote Winery Gallery.
I currently have work on display at Glen Erin Winery in Lancefield as well as the Old Courthouse in Seymour, Araminta's in Seymour, The Kilmore Courthouse and Nicole Milner's Framing in Broadford. I also exhibit in the Woodend Art Group's gallery, part to the Woodend Railway Station complex and have paintings on display at MAD as part of Jill Camilleri and my current exhibition February 2015. It is a pleasure to be hung at The Art Makers Mill, our newest gallery in Kilmore and at The Council Chambers in Broadford as part of the Makers of Mitchell exhibition.
These days I mainly paint in watercolour or acrylic, and occasionally have a dabble in pastel. Through recently I have rekindled the love of using oils, and have experimented with silk painting. I received an Honourable Mention for a silk painting at the 2013 Kilmore Art Expo, judged by Richard Chamerski, and another Honourable Mention at The Art Beyond the Divide Art Expo in Seymour judged by the Assistant Curator of the Benalla Art Gallery, Best Oil in Show, Broadford Art Show judged by Karollyn Mitchell.
John Vander Reest
John has been painting for many years. He started with pen and ink, moved to pastels and still does water colour. His main interest however has become more and more oil painting. After several teachers he now has Gregory Smith as his teacher, who belongs to the "tonal realism" group of painters.
John was born in the Netherlands, migrated to Australia in his teens and later worked in Netherlands and Germany for a number of years. So his interests in places is wider than Australia , even though he counts Australia as his home country.
John has joined in several groups exhibitions, but also had a number of solo exhibitions in Melbourne, Eltham and Kyneton.
Just recently he commenced a community group - with funding from the Macedon ranges Shire Council - at the Woodend Art group premises, called Dabblers' Delight, which proved popular with people who would like to experiment and find out whether they would like to take up painting in a particular medium.