I enjoy the simplicity of using graphite pencil and am self taught in this medium. It requires the minimum of materials, a few pencils, couple of paper stumps for shading and a 'putty' rubber which I use to lift highlights, often bringing in fine pencil lines over these areas again to create the 'thickness' of fur for example. A few pastel lessons gave me the basics to get started in this medium.
With a deep love for animals, in particular cats, dogs and birds it was natural to want to express this love in my art.
I had a dream that one day I wanted to be an artist and to teach art. But not coming from an artistic family I didn't get a lot of encouragement.
Still the dream persisted and it wasn't until I was in my 40's I discovered decorative painting (folk art). I began teaching myself and when a beginners class was first offered in a local craft shop (Hervey Bay, Queensland, Australia)I went along. The teacher informed me after the first week of the 3 week course that I was an advanced painter. I saw myself as a beginner, so was very surprised to hear this. Shortly after the classes finished the shop owner contacted me to ask would I be interested to teach at her shop as my teacher had recommended me (due to ill health she couldnt continue). Nervous but excited I told her I would be willing to try a beginners class but that was all!
My beginners class turned into six wonderful years of teaching beginners, intermediate and advanced levels, often all in the one class. I taught for three craft shops over the years in Hervey Bay and also at Bargara near Bundaberg Queensland. The original weekend beginner workshop in Bargara developed into three years of monthly weekend workshops and some of the original beginners were with me throughout. When the craft shop I started with closed the students found venues, such as a church, and even a police residence for me to conduct my classes. I learnt so much from teaching a large variety of women and a few men this beautiful art form. Often only one step ahead of them in preparing the next lesson.I learnt that some of those who found it hardest became the most dedicated and continued to paint for many years. These six years, including the three at Bargara, hold a special place in my life as I met so many wonderful people. I dedicate my website here to my former students.
Vicki Thompson joined Fine Art America on November 14th, 2010.