Beryl Clark spoke at the August morning tea about Fun for Art.

About 6 years ago, sisters, Rae and Robyn suggested an art class be included in Whittlesea U3A’s program. The aim of the class was to provide a supporting venue where members could practice and experiment their art using whatever medium they wanted and paint whatever subject they chose, and most of all, to have FUN doing so. Originally, the class consisted of only a handful of members, but that has now grown. Two more classes have been added and there is a waiting list.

The mediums used in class, include graphite pencils, coloured pencils, fluid-filled pens similar to ‘markers’, pastels, acrylics, oils, watercolours and anything else that may be on the market. In fact, most of the group use several mediums, sometimes all at the one time, which is called ‘mixed media’

The experience level ranges from raw beginners who have never used a brush or drawn with a pencil, though to more experienced painters who produce excellent work. Most of the group have sold one or more paintings at the various shows they have attended.

Art for Fun has exhibited at shopping centres, libraries, and at the combined U3A exhibition at Parliament House, a couple of years ago. We also show at the City of Whittlesea annual art exhibition and at Kinglake Rotary Art Show. Currently, we have some of our work on display at the Two Bean and a Farm Restaurant in the Carome Homestead, Mernda, where one was sold in the first week.

Robyn Phillips is the group leader and has had quite a lot of painting experience. She gives helpful support wherever and whenever needed. Every couple of months she gives us a challenge in order to improve skills and widen members’ knowledge of techniques.

I have been associated with the group doe three and a half years and give monthly tutorials on whatever subjects members want to learn about. This also challenges their capabilities and helps them to grow. It has been a two-way learning process as some of the subjects that they have asked for, I know very little or nothing about…so I research and practice myself in order to teach them.

Art for Fun provides a means of socializing as well as enjoyment in learning new skills and when you watch their interaction and hear the chatter you know that the aim of the original leaders has been achieved in practising Art for Fun.