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Artists draw on new skills for winter arts retreat

Dozens of guests polish their creative skills at five-day workshops as part of McGregor Winter Arts Retreat
The University of Southern Queensland’s art studios provided the perfect escape from the winter chill this week, with guests from across the region taking part in the McGregor Winter Arts retreat. 

From oil painting and sculpture to jewellery making and leatherwork, there were plenty of workshops to choose from, all led by experienced artists. 

Among the guests were Rachel Oliveri and Katie White, who were brushing up on their painting skills at James McKay’s watercolour workshop.

“James has been a wonderful teacher, I’ve learnt a lot about colour mixing and I’m definitely getting more confident in this area,” Ms Oliveri said. 

“There are plenty of techniques that we have learnt here which we can translate to our other work,” Ms White said.

“James has gone over a range of things including brushwork, colours and using water on paper.”

Across the way, in the jewellery making workshop, Jeff Cowan was working on multiple sets of earrings. 

“I’ve been coming to the McGregor art school for 10 years now, it’s great to be part of a group that offers ideas and support,” Mr Cowan said.

“Di Appleby has been a fantastic tutor who has provided a lot of stimulus. 

“I see silverwork as being something that is endless, you start with a flat sheet and you end up with these incredible shapes, which have been hammered, shifted, thickened and thinned.”

Have a love of art? Develop your expertise and immerse yourself in the creative process with the many courses on offer at the University of Southern Queensland’s School of Creative Arts
two ladies showing off their watercolour paintings
Guests Katie White (left) and Rachel Oliveri work on their watercolour paintings.