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Introduction and Some Questions (long)

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    Hi there,

    First I wanted to say thank you for this show (and website)! I discovered it early this year by accident flicking channels. I always thought that station was for ads, who knew> When I asked my missus to turn it to channel 74 she ‘was like’ “What??”. Now she is a regular viewer of the show, maybe one day I can get her to put paint to paper.

    I’m not usually one of the first few people on the dance floor, I have to wait until there is at least a small crowd. I am Nicholas and I am quite shy, I am soon to be 42 (does that make me sound younger)? I live in an industrial part of Adelaide, I like it here.

    I looked around for an Australian ‘art’ forum for a while and couldn’t find many up to date ones. Not many of my friends are into painting or much else creative. My sister is into drawing, painting and crafts, my nephew is into music and video creation and I couldn’t be prouder!

    My history is long, private, lucky and unbelievable. Painting (as a hobby) began when I walked past a pack of paints in a supermarket in Surabaya ,Indonesia at 4am on a Sunday morning. I saw a pack of paints (cheap nasty toxic watercolours) with a funny name (PM if you need to know I am not writing it here). I bought the paints and took them home, the next day I was painting on whatever paper I could find.

    I started to get OK at seascapes and had myself a little ‘gallery’ set up in my house entrance. Occasionally my friends would say they loved a painting so I would give it to them. I loved to see the smile on their face, or my work above their desk / in their house. Truly a feeling I cannot explain.

    My days of traveling were over, I came back to Adelaide and forgot about painting as I started working for the man. Some jobs, years, injuries later and after stumbling across Colour in Your Life (and in particular Amanda Hyatt) was inspiration to go to the local art shop. Amanda Hyatt is truly inspiring to watch, if you haven’t seen an episode with her I highly recommend you download one!

    Acrylic is my medium of choice, to be completely honest I am lazy and I find this the easiest to clean out of my brushes. I also find ‘student grade’ stuff to be easy to find and pretty cheap. I don’t know what I love to paint, maybe landscapes and seascapes but now I’m keen again anything is good. I recently did portraits for two friends, way out of my comfort zone but I learned a lot about colour!

    Wow that’s one long intro, if you actually read all that thank you. Please say ‘hi’. Now you know a lot about me. I love painting, I would love to make my hobby my job one day, that will always be the dream.

    Technically I’m a beginner (again), so hopefully these questions aren’t too silly;

    When I use a little bit of acrylic paint it seems to wash out in water (if I do it quick).. Do I still need soap and water or am I just ruining my brush?

    I found a hand wash with lemon that seems to work well cleaning brushes. The other thing I tried was dish washing detergent, are these OK?

    I really can’t do my signature so it looks good, even my finest brush won’t help me get it right, always looks out of place or too ‘squiggly’ Pencil doesn’t seem to cut it either. Any basic tips on signatures?

    My friends and family tell me all my work is ‘great’. I know from my DJ days this is not (always) true, even strangers will tell you nice lies sometimes. I want to join a local arts club but I am nowhere near their standard. Silly, as I know they will welcome me but how do I get over this ‘stage fright'(?)

    I can’t say thank you enough, I got to push paint around again with inspiration from people I never knew before. Inspiration comes from all forms, the episodes that have inspired me have been with Timo Rannali, Amanda Hyatt, Alvaro Castagnet, Russell Kereama and I have a load of episodes to catch up on!

    Thanks for reading! I’ll keep it short next time.


    Sorry to see that the revamped website hasn’t done anything to breathe life into the forums :(

    If you’re still looking for answers to these or any other questions, feel free to get in touch with me. I can talk about art all day!

    linda bartlett

    Hi Nicholas…….Firstly i would like to say join a local artist group! no one will be judging your work…we all started at sometime and artists are very keen to help one another in my experience.
    I use running water to clean my brushes and if they are very dirty a drop of dish washing liquid. Th main thing is not to let the acrylic paint dry on them. As far as your signature is concerned you will see many kinds…some messy some not so. Create something that is unique to you using just your initials maybe? I hope you are still on here and enjoying your art. Cheers Linda


    Hi Nicholas,

    I’m glad you were brave enough to take the first step on the dance floor. I’ve been away in the USA for a while and only just got back. Would you mind if I sent this post out on a newsletter to ask people for their input on this? I would really love to get some more opinions as the best people to answer are the ones in the same boat. It seems we are all a bit shy on the forums.



    Hi, have watched the show online in England and have been amazed by the work being done in Australia.

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