Summer Newsletter 2018

Our summer unfortunately is nearly over. I hope everyone enjoyed the warmer than usual weather.  Just a reminder that the Burnie Coastal Art Group A.G.M. is on the 5th March. All Office Bearers positions are vacant, so please consider taking on one of these positions if you are able. All BCAG memberships are also due in March at $40.00 or $45.00 for a family. It would be appreciated if everyone could fill out a membership form so that we can be sure we have all the correct information.


The Studio2eleven Gallery is looking great with the new cladding, new entrance, and cemented area near the entrance. To celebrate the “new look” we are having a grand opening on the 10th March at 2pm. Because it is a special occasion we thought a High Tea style of afternoon tea would be a great idea. We need paintings on the walls of course, so if you have some framed work we would like them at the gallery by next week. A hanging fee of $5.00 per work, with up to 3 works per member. If you have any other work bring it along as there may be room to hang it. The work will be hung on the 8th and 9th March from 10am. If you can help, your presence will be most appreciated.

As we head in to the new year it is a timely reminder to maybe mix things up and try new things. A recent article by Jeannine Stein may just be the incentive we need. She writes –

Living in your comfort zone is nice, isn’t it? Feels great. But after a while, that cosy place can get a little stifling. Something inside you says you need to see what else is out there, even if finding your way around can be challenging. There are great rewards to be had if you break out of your creative comfort zone, like gaining more confidence and having a more fulfilling and satisfying art practice. You just have to be willing to sacrifice a little security to become the best artist you can be. Ready?

Here are five ways you can bust out of that comfort zone and take your talents to the next level:

1. Take a class in something you’re interested in, but know absolutely nothing about. Becoming a rank beginner is not easy, especially if you’ve spent years perfecting techniques in certain areas. Nothing is more humbling than starting from zero, but there are also few things more rewarding than mastering something completely new. One-shot workshops are great, but if you can swing a class that spans several weeks, go for it. That will encourage you to practice and embed the ideas and methods into your routine, making it more likely you’ll continue to use them. In a class setting you’ll also become accustomed to showing your art and possibly receiving helpful critiques from the instructor. Both can help you grow tremendously as an artist.

2. Share your artwork with the world. I believe that art shouldn’t live in a vacuum. You don’t have to put everything you make on social media to break out of your comfort zone; maybe the first step is showing your work to a good friend or family member. Don’t fear rejection or unkind comments. Even if you encounter a little of that, it will pale in comparison to the encouragement you’ll get and the community you’ll find. I was terrified when I posted my first drawing attempts on Instagram—I thought the negative feedback would come pouring in, or I’d hear crickets. Neither thing happened. Instead, I received some lovely praise and support, and that gave me the courage to keep going. I love seeing other people’s work, and hearing what inspires them, and I’m sure I’m not alone.

3. Go public. This is different from showing your artwork to others—I’m talking about creating something in a public place. That could be sketching at a coffee shop, painting in a park, or collaging in a laundromat. Creating in your workspace may make you feel secure, but there’s no variety of inspiration. When you’re out and about you can’t control everything, and that’s good. You may hear a song that you love, smell jasmine in a soft breeze, or pet a sweet dog. All of these things can be fresh influences on what you’re creating. Don’t worry about people seeing you and your work—they’ll be focused on their own tasks. If someone is curious about what you’re doing, it could spark a great conversation.

4. Create when you don’t feel like it. I know that there’s a school of thought that says you should only make art when you’re full of energy and the stars are aligned and your studio is in tip-top shape. I don’t buy it. If I waited for those moments I’d get next to nothing done, because life usually has other things in mind. My husband and I have a standing date night once a week, and I use that time to draw. Sometimes I’m tired, or I’ve had a bad day, and I could use those or any other excuses not to draw. Instead, I pull out my sketchbook and get to work. And after a few minutes I’m feeling calm and focused, and I’ve done something for myself that I love. Yes, there are times when I create terrible art. But most of the time I draw something I like, and that makes me happy and confident.

Going to the gym is an analogy that’s often used for this method of getting out of your comfort zone, but it fits. I can think of a million excuses not to work out, but when I push myself and go, I’m always glad I did, and I feel so much better afterward. Think of this as exercising your art muscles!

5. Create a piece of artwork that’s intensely personal. Dig deep for this one and use a powerful feeling, a pivotal event, or a special goal as inspiration. You don’t have to show it or tell anyone about it. The idea is to tap into those raw emotions, whatever they may be, and translate them into art. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with painting pretty flowers—I do it all the time—but as artists, we need to go further in order to make significant breakthroughs. The artwork I connect with most usually reveals something about the artist that’s tangible and resonates. That inspires me to create artwork that has the same effect, and I hope it inspires you too.
— Jeannine Stein (Feb 2018)



I was born at Smithton and spent my childhood and younger years in Circular Head.  I left school partway through Year 11 as I attained work dental assisting at Smithton.  However, after a few years dental assisting I thought that I would like to train to be a dental therapist.  I went back to Hellyer College as a mature age student (probably 19 or 20 years of age.) It was considered an advantage to have an artistic bent to be selected to train as a dental therapist, so I chose to take Art as a subject and I went on to attain my Higher School Certificate. I was not selected into the next draft of dental therapy, so I went back to dental assisting.  This was my main employment until about 15 years ago. At this time, I was ready for a new challenge and I moved on to a more administrative role working in the pay office and then the finance area. Whilst I started in the pay office I found myself wanting a creative outlet.

I went to Portside for Adult Ed classes with Julian Thompson.  Firstly, doing an introduction to drawing and then a beginner’s oil painting class.  I then wanted to attend TAFE to do a couple of modules in their arts area. Unfortunately, it was about this time that the dept. moved to Devonport.  Feeling frustrated I eventually plucked up the courage to venture into the Burnie Coastal Art Groups rooms at Studio 211. I spent about 5 years painting with Suzanne’s classes on Tuesday mornings when I could.  I have also attended quite a few workshops held by the BCAG. In Jan 2013 I was fortunate to win a prize at the Latrobe Council Painting Award and then went on to sell the work which was hung at Anvers, Latrobe. This was a collage.

I also attained an award at the Somerset Arts Festival in 2017 – an encouragement award presented by Eric Hiller, who had taught me art in Year 11, (second time around).

In recent times (the last 2 years) I have painted at Sisters Beach under the tutelage of Margaret Brown.  I sold 2 of my works at the Tulip Festival in 2016. These were exhibited at the Tulip farm. I have also had work selected to be hung at TASART and the Long Gallery at Salamanca.

I am currently painting with acrylics and am enjoying the days I paint, playing with the paint and seeing what the paint will do for me.