Conversations with Barry & Lucy McCann

Both full time artists, Lucy & Barry McCann are a husband & wife team who produce works largely on a commission basis. Their demonstrations, teaching & judging skills are sought after by art societies and groups throughout Australia & overseas. They have achieved numerous prizes and awards with their work represented in many private & corporate collections.

Q: At what point did you think - I’m ready to leave my day job to pursue this?

We were madly painting at night and weekends while juggling the children and our full time jobs when one day we asked each other “If you were a millionaire, what would you like to do?” and our replies were similar and we said that we would like to be together, paint and be at home when the kids got home from school. It was soon after this we became “millionaires”.

Q: What do you enjoy most about creating art?

We love to paint “Beauty”. Seeing the world through artistic eyes is a blessing and being able to capture what you see and experience on paper or canvas is not only a challenge but sooo rewarding.

Q: What does the year ahead look like?

Pretty much the same as this year really…painting for ourselves when we aren’t teaching or painting commissions. Oh, we will fit in the occasional trip to visit our family and see some more of our wonderful country.

Q: What do people most love to buy from you most?

Paint brushes!! It is a well known fact that it is the brush that makes a great painting!! Not really…we are lucky enough to have our own signature set of brushes made buy the Da Vinci company in Germany and they are ideal for our way of painting, so we encourage our students to use these as well.

Q: What is you favourite technique?

Our favourite technique varies according to the subject and effect we wish to create on the canvas or paper. We love spattering, masking, and using a paint roller to name a few.

Q: Is there a particular piece that gave you great joy to paint?

For Barry it would have to be the portrait of Maggie Beer and Simon Bryant from the TV series “The cook and the Chef” which was a finalist in the Archibald Prize and for Lucy it would be a painting titled “Gift of love” which was exhibited in the Shenzhen Watercolour Biennial China along with only two other Australians.

Q: What do you think are the benefits of doing an immersive art intensive workshop?

We think it is a great advantage to do a workshop as it is like receiving years of knowledge in a few days. The workshop gathers like minded people together and fuels the fire to create. There is usually a little bit of work hidden between the fun!

Q: Where is your next workshop?

Our next workshops commence at the beginning of next year and the month of January sees us in Canberra, Toowoomba and at Our Summer Workshops which are held at our studio/gallery in Armidale NSW.

Q: If you could only give one piece of advice to students what would it be?

If we could pass on any advice to our students it would be that the secret to being a good artist is the result of preparation, hard work, practice and learning from your mistakes…but even more important than that it would be to have fun doing it.

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