Epiphanies tend to happen in funny places and for East Perth artist Malini Parker, that place was her back shed.
Parker became an artist by accident. Formerly a scientist, she started her creative journey thirteen years ago when chronic illness made it impossible for her to continue working in her field.
“I was never a very good scientist! Maybe I thought if I just kept working and studying, I would get better, but it just wasn’t in my blood.”
Seeking a change and a rest to recuperate from chronic fatigue syndrome, Parker started studying visual art. “The creative process was always a bit scary for me, but I’ve never looked back. It was love at first sight and making art was all I could think about, night and day!”
Which leads us to the back shed. It was there, teaching her first ever art workshop to a group of nervous yet excited friends, that Parker’s whole view of the creative process changed. That day led to the development of a unique seven-step process that enables complete novices to produce four original paintings in a single workshop.
Parker says, “I love seeing the transformation from nervous novice, to proud and happy artist, in just one day. It is as if creativity is contagious and people can catch it by being in the right place!”
Parker believes that creativity is part of everyone’s make up as human beings. “When we use it, it increases, and enriches our lives beyond measure. However we often don’t realise how easily it can be accessed, or how much fear can stop us. One of her students confessed to being more afraid of coming to an art class than of skydiving!
Parker’s one day intensive workshop, called Painting for Beginners has become a phenomenon for busy people who can’t attend weekly classes. Described as a warm and encouraging teacher who provides a ‘safe and enriching environment’, her workshops are often booked out weeks to months in advance, and she has delivered them to over 700 students in Perth, as well as places as far flung as the remote West Australian wheatbelt town of Mukinbudin, to the Barossa Valley in South Australia.
The most surprising thing is the diversity of people who have found the experience transformative – men and women, young and old, from racehorse trainers to doctors and everything in between. As one of her students who came over from Singapore to attend, “even if the thought of painting scares you to the bone, sign up for her class. By the end of the day, you’ll go home with four amazing paintings painted by you! No regrets.”
Parker is currently delivering workshops in Melbourne for the second time. With invitations pouring in to teach in Brisbane, Hobart, New Zealand, California and Switzerland, she feels that she has found a unique way to help others to connect to their creativity quickly and easily, and make beautiful paintings in just one day.
She will be bringing her unique workshop experience to Collie on Sunday, 17 May 2015.
Don’t miss out on this great opportunity! Book directly through Malini’s website, or contact Gallery Director Sarah Stanley on 0408 344 833 for more information.