Mine has been a privileged life in as much as painting has always been my passion, allowing me to create, travel and mix with like-minded friends and to make it a successful career.
A scholarship at the age of 15 admitted me into the National Art School, working at a Sydney Commercial Art Studio during the semester breaks. I combined the two, enjoying them so much that when I married and family arrived I continued my course at the local Gymea College and did free-lance commercial art from home. Around this time I began entering competitions and spurred on by success began to use pastel, as well as the other mediums that I’d been tutored in.
The immediacy and brilliance of pastel lifted me in a way no other medium had and experimenting with no real guidance seemed to open endless possibilities. Initially I would use it in a linear fashion but now feel that I paint with it… a little of both is preferable… and after all the subject dictates the way to go!
Recognition as a pastellist has taken me interstate and overseas to study and teach, an opportunity I’ve been grateful for. My ‘self-taught’ medium has won over 180 first prizes, (29 of these being “Best in Show”) beginning at a time when there were few ‘pastel’ sections included in competitions, it is good to see that it is often (not always still!) up there now with oil and water-colour. Other first prizes are 20 for water-colour, 21 for oil or acrylic, 4 for mixed media and 10 for drawing.
I was awarded Master Pastellist by the Pastel Society of Australia in 2008, became a Fellow of the Royal Art Society of NSW in 2001 and have been a Life Member of Parramatta Art Society since 1974. Other Societies to which I currently belong include Castle Hill, Ryde and Shoalhaven. The Combined Art Societies of Sydney have made me Artist of the Year 9 times.
Award winning works of mine now hang in 15 different councils and corporate buildings around Australia and New Zealand and private homes here and abroad.
Colina Grant FRAS