Manuela has been a practicing artist and teacher for more than thirty years working and exhibiting in the UK, Spain, and Australia. Her field of interest is life drawing and portraiture using oil or charcoal. Recently, she has won first prize for the 2016 Master Skill Building Challenge at Watts Atelier. In 2017 Manuela fulfilled a lifelong dream to study in Italy and attended the Florence Academy of Art allowing her to work with artists trained in the classical skills that Italy is renowned for.
Jan Lawnikanis has taught regular art classes on the Gold Coast for the past 22 years and tutored over 70 workshops in various locations around Queensland and NSW. Students in all mediums have praised Jan for her teaching skills and this has gained her an excellent reputation with all ages.In her personal art career, Jan’s beautifully presented work in various mediums has won many first prizes and other awards.
The opportunity to escape the office to spend five days creating art in a sun-filled studio next to long white beaches, with one of my favourite artists, Boston’s Liz Haywood-Sullivan, ticked every box.What I hadn’t planned on was the unexpected surprises that unfolded along the way, turning it into a life-changing experience of fun, food and friendship.Throwing eight strangers together in a big house is not a new idea to reality TV fans – but in our house we had a studio all to ourselves, an incredible art teacher and a retreat organiser who spoiled us and customised our stay to suit our daily whims. I found myself wondering ‘how long has this been going on?’ and ‘why didn’t I do this sooner’?