Insights from Jan Lawnikanis

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.

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

I actually started teaching art only a year after taking my first art lesson and right then I knew this was what I wanted to pursue; to continue improving my own skills while helping others do the same. Teaching gives me so much joy and I love seeing how it can literally change a person's life in a positive way! I have been consistently teaching classes and workshops now for 23 years.

Q: What do you enjoy most about creating art?

I love 'being in the moment' of creativity, forgetting about other things and just enjoying the process of seeing an artwork emerge. I guess that's why I don't get as much pleasure from really quick paintings. There's something about the contemplative study of the subject, focussing on details and building up layers, that gives me greater satisfaction. Perhaps it's because I feel then that I have put my soul and time into it.

Q: What does the year ahead look like?

I'm very excited about some different projects I have in the works that will be very helpful to students and I also plan to make some videos showing how I paint. There's my first workshop in Tasmania that I am really looking forward to tutoring, as well as other workshops that are booked for 2019. It's going to be a great year!

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

My large floral watercolours are popular as they have the most visual impact.

Q: What is you favourite technique?

Working with transparent watercolours, leaving unpainted sections to represent the lightest areas and creating strong contrast with multiple layers in the background.

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

My watercolour 'Translucence' seemed like a magical experience as it felt like the painting emerged all by itself! It was a turning point for me in terms of where I wanted to go with my floral paintings.

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

The benefits are almost innumerable. Spending all day creating without distraction really helps artists to improve their skills. Then there's all the interesting and like-minded people to be surrounded by who are themselves a wealth of tips and knowledge. You can't help but feel inspired and encouraged so it's good for the body, mind and spirit. ( Having someone else do the cooking and cleaning is a really nice bonus as well!)

Q: Where is your next workshop?

The next workshop planned is with Artable. 'Bringing Light To Florals' is a weekend watercolour workshop on November 3 & 4.

Q: If you could only give one piece of advice to (insert your medium ie. Water colour, acrylic, pastel, drawing, oils) students what would it be?

Watercolourists: Try many different styles and subjects, see what really clicks with you personally and build upon that. Don't compare your work to other artists but only compare your new work to your old.

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