By Jessica Micallef
What is your connection to the Macedon Ranges?
My daughter lives in Lancefield and I have had solo and joint exhibitions at the MAD Gallery in Lancefield over the past 10 years. I am excited to have several oil and watercolour paintings hanging in the Old Railway Station in Lancefield. I have had paintings shown there over several years.
I have painted Hanging Rock in silk paint, oil and watercolour over the years – some of these paintings have been purchased by overseas buyers. Turpin Falls is another great area to stretch the legs and drag out the easel. I love the emotive billabongs and you don’t have to drive too far to get away from it all and take in the serenity.
What are you passionate about?
I enjoy all mediums but am passionate about watercolours. The way the paint mixes on the paper, creating a translucent effect. The artist often does not have full control over the movement of the paint. This is particularly evident when painting on yupo, a plastic-like material. When my children were at kindergarten I took up oil painting, tutored by Ron Reynolds and Marion Bruere. My first masterpiece was a painting of Beethoven’s death mask. Ron would have a box of black and white photographs for us to select our subject matter from, resulting in an exciting night of tonal painting. The Sunday morning field trips to places like Pound Bend, Warrandyte were fun. I had two years of watercolour lessons from David K Taylor, and have been tutored by Alvaro Castagnet, Amanda Hyatt and Joseph Zbukvic to name a few. I teach watercolour, oil and acrylic pouring.
How long have you been a part of the Woodend Art Group – what is your role?
This is testing the memory. I will say 10 years, and secretary for the past two, though I have handled a lot of advertising over the years, both print media and web based. Social media is good for promoting exhibitions, classes and workshops.
What do you enjoy most about the group?
The interaction with fellow artists.
Where is your favourite place to eat in Sunbury and/or the Macedon Ranges?
I tend to gravitate towards Colenso. I am disappointed that they had to relocate from Woodend to Kyneton. Glen Erin [in Lancefield] is a favourite. My daughter’s wedding reception was held there, following on from the service at St Mary’s in Woodend. The ambience of Glen Erin, along with the quality of the food and wine is most enjoyable. I have also exhibited there.
What would people be most surprised to know about you?
It always amazes people when I say that I bred and showed miniature poodles for many years, as my last three dogs have been rottweilers and a great dane mastiff.