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3 Sundays workshop

MARK DOBER


10am - 2pm, Sunday 19 Nov, Sunday 3 & 10 Dec 2017

Plein air painting at Kew Billabong.

In these workshops with Mark, you will learn about composition and structure, seeing and mixing colour and tone. You will work with positive and negative shapes, relating mark making to seeing (using patterning as a way of differentiating elements, clarifying spatial relationships, and generating visual interest and engagement). Build the paint surface (and avoiding muddying), maximise the expressive potential of each piece of work.  

Mark Dober combines demonstrating with his own painting; while giving everyone individual attention and assistance (including working on students’ painting.  Each session winds up with a discussion/critique of everyone’s work.

Participants will understand the organic link between seeing and painting when working plein air. Strategies for coping with the changing light. How to build the paint surface step by step without muddying the colour. Understanding that seeing is in some sense subjective, and our work will express our personal response to the subject.

Sunday 26 November rained out! Sunday 3 December rained out!

Its always a possibility when dealing with the great outdoors. The rain was on and off; lighter and heavier, with a little sunshine in between.  Mark has added Sunday 10 December as a makeup date to complete the Workshop. All participants have been contacted.

Here are some images from Sunday 3 December.


A previous years Artist Talk from Mark Dober

Dr Mark Dober's exceptional lecture on November 10, discussed the practice of painting outside or En Plein Air. While the practice has been around for a long time, it first became a recognised movement with the Barbizon school around the early to mid-1800’s in north central France. Its practitioners were artists like Rousseau, Corot, and Jean-Francois Millet. The 1860’s saw the technique further developed by the French impressionists then perfected in the work of Paul Cezanne and Vincent Van Gough. Painting directly outdoors in the French manner had world -wide repercussions. It influenced our own Heidelberg School and the Californian Colourists in the early 1900’s.

This painting tradition informed Fred Williams and continues today with artists like Mark Dober and Mary Tonkin. Mark Dober had his first solo exhibition at Gertrude Street in the mid 90’s, a portrait show. It was here that his work came to the notice of Robert Nelson The Age art critic who gave the exhibition a favourable review. Mark also had several exhibitions at Goya Galleries in the late 90’s. His work at this time favoured pastoral scenes often depicting cows in various droll poses, some sitting and some just chewing. Each one had been painted outside.

Mark’s Studio was outside and his paintings convey the immediacy of being on the spot. It is here the practiced eye can see a vast difference between painting and drawing made in response to something experienced and felt compared to work based on memory or photographic reference. Nature has a life force and a movement energy which artists pick up on. Just being there means the subject is experienced first-hand. This connection between artist and subject becomes a catalyst enabling paint and canvas to come alive as real time experience. This mysterious transformation is why we paint and it just cannot happen when only photographic reference or memory is used.

Copying from a photograph amounts to a second hand experience and it always shows in the work. Mark’s paintings are true and beautifully coloured, his observed forms and spaces distil into elegant and convincing shorthand. His colour is chromatic rather than tonal and the harmonies achieved demonstrate a combination of local, heightened and sometimes invented colour. His work today continues the Plein Air tradition which values a direct painterly response before nature. Rain, hail or shine. Mark has a PHD in Painting from Monash University, is widely exhibited, and is a published writer for Art Monthly Australia, Artists Profile, and Australian Art Review