Lorene Vigus – February Artist of the Month 2023

Lorene Vigus – February Artist of the Month 2023

By Tanya

February 20, 2023

Lorene Vigus, plein air, WASA, West Australian Artist, West Australian Society of Arts

Lorene Vigus Bio

My art journey began in year 10. Not a great introduction, since after a few weeks the students made our teacher cry (not me of course) and she left.  I don’t know why they didn’t replace her. Thankfully my enthusiasm for art was nurtured by my Mum’s talents in oil painting. I was inspired by her beautiful work and over the years she gave me some lessons, but  I really just dabbled here and there.

In 2021, I was encouraged to pursue art by someone who recognised the great benefits of art for mental health. She could see my potential even though I couldn’t and I set about to paint just to prove her wrong!  I started painting still life once a week at home and then booked a class with Behzad Alipour where my enthusiasm grew. 

I had been following artists whose work I loved on FaceBook. One such artist was Leon Holmes who I discovered was having a workshop in Mandurah. I was so excited and after being encouraged by my husband, Kevin, I booked my class at midnight. The next morning I re-read the details of the workshop and discovered to my dread that the workshop was for intermediate to advanced. I had never painted outside and didn’t even know what the term Plein Air meant!!!  Needless to say I attended the workshop in fear and trembling, not just because of my lack of skill lackage (real word) but also having to meet a whole bunch of people I didn’t know. I was completely out of my comfort zone!   After the workshop with Leon, I was well and truly hooked. I loved every minute of it and ended up attending the whole weekend of the Plein Air Down Under.

I joined the PPAP and have met so many skilled artists who have not only given encouragement but have been so generous in sharing their tips and tricks. I went to every paint out I could and then attended the Friends of Lawrence Wilson Gallery for a quick draw. I was surprised and thrilled to receive an encouragement award. The following year, I attended the same competition and received a prize for my oil painting. 

I joined WASA in 2022 and was nudged (thanks to Meredith Blaze and Jo Lou) to put a painting in the Exhibition. I had my socks blown off when I received the Wilgie award (I had to look up what it was!)  What a buzz. 

At the end of 2022, I put four paintings in the “Wild ‘N Free” Exhibition to support mental health and I sold my first painting and then submitted four still life pieces in the Juniper Gallery to raise funds for Life Line, where I sold three out of the four paintings. 
I know I am only new to this whole painting journey and I feel very humbled to be sitting here writing to all you amazing artists, but for anyone who is just starting and who loves to paint, I would say  “just go for it and have fun.”
My tips…

Don’t compare yourself to others. This is a hard one for me. especially when I paint outside next to brilliant painters like Val Brooks, Sarah Pondevie, Adrianne Kinnear and Alix Korte (just to name a few). That is daunting enough but when the public come over and rave about the painter next to me and then walk past my painting in stunned silence, it can be very discouraging. We can, however, choose to give up or to use that as an opportunity to fire up and improve. Remember “Comparison is the thief of Joy”

Brush Miles…Stolen tip from Leon Holmes – paint, paint, paint. 

Open the window! If you’re painting inside, even if the smell of turps and linseed oil gives you a warm fuzzy, it’s not good for you. Besides that, the sound of birds singing might give you a lift  (not so much the sound of lawnmowers).
Thanks for reading this and happy painting my fellow artists

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