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When The World Is Your Gallery

Life In France:

Sharon Santoni On Her Love Of All Things French

How To Make Art On


Create a Masterpiece

h Australia’s MOST INNOVATIVE ARTIST 2017 APAC Awards



about acrylic paint. Includes art materials and catering. Transform your creative abilities.

URNE – Glen Iris

SYDNEY – Willoughby


nting Workshop $2450 pp 019 14th – 17th, plus evening of January 13th o midsize canvas in acrylics.

4 Day Painting Workshop $2350 pp April 2019 13th – 16th plus evening of 12th July 2019 13th – 16th plus evening of 12th in O acrylics. ‘ F R O M S C R A T C H A T O –NPaint E Otwo F midsize M Y Wcanvases ORKSH PS’


BRISBANE – Metro Arts Itching$2450 to paint pp but worried about having no skills? nting Workshop 4 Day Painting Workshop $2450 pp 2019 19th – 22nd, plus evening ofCoates February 18th Try my ‘no-fail’ Jacqueline Blooms Painting Method®, a system anyone can apply to get 2019 3rd – 6th, 9-5:30PM plus evening of Augu amazing results, even if you don’t have a creativeAugust bone in your body. o midsize canvases in acrylics. – Paint two midsize canvases in acrylics. I’ve taught thousands of students how to paint and solve painting issues for 16 years with my ORIGINAL

SA VALLEYcreated – SAfrom scratch teaching methods that unlock painting andDELUXE colour, and how handle your paint. BLOOMS in toFRANCE

nting Workshop $1350 pp Lean on 30 years of painting experience and a compassionate for pleasure or paint for April 26th −approach. May 5thPaint 2019 19 2nd–3rd, 9profit. - 5.30pm plus I help you get your confidence and creativity going! 8 Day Blooms Art Immersion f March 1st at Salon Rouge 5.30pm-8.30pm, $7697 pp inc art supplies, accommodation, catering an midsize canvas in acrylics. 2 half day tours and transits to and from Paris

– Midland Junction Art Centre


BLOOMS WORKSHOP LOCATIONS AND EVENTS For the latest workshop dates & to book visit

Learn all about acrylic paint. Includes art materials and catering. Transform your creative abilities. HAMILTON, NEW ZEALAND 4 Day Blooms Painting Workshop $2480AUD Paint two midsize canvases in acrylics. BAROSSA VALLEY - Salon Rouge 2 Day Painting Workshop $1350pp inc Art Supplies and Catering Paint a midsize canvas in acrylics.

SYDNEY - Willoughby 4 Day Painting Workshop $2350pp inc Art Supplies and Catering Paint two midsize canvases in acrylics. MELBOURNE - Glen Iris 4 Day Painting Workshop $2350pp Paint two midsize canvases in acrylics. PERTH - Midland Junction Arts Centre 4 Day Painting Workshop $2350pp Paint two midsize canvases in acrylics.

BRISBANE - Metro Arts 2 Day Blooms Painting Workshop $1350pp inc Art Supplies and Catering

For the latest dates to book please visit

PAINT BLOOMS USA Downtown Los Angeles Enjoy a bonus 3 DAY Blooms Painting Workshop when you purchase the PAINT BLOOMS USA online pack with mentoring.

For details please visit:

PAINT FROM HOME WITH ONLINE PROGRAMS Visit my page to learn about my online painting programs and offers. Choose from 3 fabulous online programs you can do from home. For Enquiries visit:

30 years painting experience & 16 years teaching my Jacqueline Coates Blooms Painting Method® VOTED South Australia’s MOST INNOVATIVE ARTIST APAC Awards 3 years running

Paint At French Art School Enjoy a learning holiday and reboot your creativity and inspiration levels. At French Art School there are a variety of painting programs to choose from in spring, early summer and autumn. FRENCH ART SCHOOL Tour and paint with Jacqueline Coates Enjoy the Paris & the Limousin French Art School Tour taking in Impressionist Paris, Monet’s Giverny, chateaux of the Loire and the stunning Creuse region where Monet & the French Impressionists painted. This 13 day tour with 11 complete days touring and painting includes day trips to Aubusson, local markets plus painting tuition in the ballroom studio. Learn to paint Impressionist style with Jacqueline. Start and finish in Paris. More information here at https:// french-art-school-tour-paris/

BLOOMS FRANCE Learn the no fail Jacqueline Coates BLOOMS PAINTING METHOD® In an 8 full days and 9 nights art immersion at Jacqueline’s studio in France. No previous experience necessary. Learn to mix colour, how to create a beautiful blooms painting start to finish, blending techniques, paint handling and how to create a professional finish. More information here at https:// blooms-painting-workshopfrance/

French Art School loves both the French and the Italian Rivieras which inspired Monet, Matisse, Chagall, Renoir, and Picasso. Each year a French Art School Tour explores the Cote’D’Azure.

Visit this link for the latest offering;

All tours enjoy the support of a private chauffeur, French chef Enquiries & further information contact Jacqueline at

Jacqueline Coates Studio at French Art School La ForĂŞt du Temple CREUSE France


Dorthy Miller Shore: Living Well Into Our Prime


Go Greens: How Do You Mix A Wide Range Of Greens?


Painting Problems Answered By Editor in Chief Jacqueline Coates


Buying An Easel: Some Expert Tips From The Team At Jerry’s Artarama


How To Make Art On Holidays


Why Learning To Paint Is Good For The Soul


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Life In France: Sharon Santoni On Her Love Of All Things French


Art Bloggers You Must Follow


Fine Art America - When The World Is Your Gallery


When Kids Leave Home

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED Reference to any specific commercial product, process, or services by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not constitute or imply its endorsement or recommendation by READ PUBLISHING. Links outside of this publication are provided for user convenience and do not constitute or imply endorsement, recommendation, or favouring by READ PUBLISHING. The publisher or any of the editors, writers or contributors will not accept responsibility or liability for the correctness of information or opinions expressed in the publication. All material submitted is at the owners risk and while every care will be taken the publisher does not accept liability for loss or damage. No person, organisation or party can copy or re-produce the content on this site and or magazine or any part of this publication without a written consent from the editors’ panel and the author of the content, as applicable. The publisher, authors and contributors reserve their rights with regards to copyright of their work.

CONTRIBUTORS Jerry’s Artarama Jerry’s is a family business that believes in what they do and the positive impact it has on every day lives. Jerry’s Artarama is not just a place to buy your art supplies. It’s a place to learn and discover your own artistic potential and creativity. In everything they do, their goal is to empower artists of all ages. And they have been doing it since 1968! @jerrysartarama @JerrysArtarama

Sharon Santoni Sharon Santoni was born in England but has lived in France for ever. Having raised her four children she was looking for a way to reinvent herself and in 2010 she started her blog, which rapidly found a readership across the oceans, and has opened the most surprising doors ever since. Through her books, website, magazine and her subscription box, Sharon shares her love of France and everyday French living. Her main subjects are home & garden design, French antiques, cooking and the joy of reinvention at any age. @sharonsantoni @myfrenchcountryhome

Dorthy Miller Shore Dorthy Miller Shore is the CEO of the number one website for women over 50, Prime Women. Noticing a gap in the market for reading material aimed at women her age, Dorthy set out to create something unique and Dorthy and the team have grand plans for the development of future initiatives, including a lifestyle television show, podcasting and book launches. @primewomen @PrimeWomen1

EDITOR IN CHIEF Jacqueline Coates

Hi to all my Living Art readers! Great to see you here again for great art information, inspiration and art connections! I’ve been enjoying compiling elements for the magazine in my travels recently, especially with regard to the travelling artist! Suddenly finding myself as an empty nester with the daughter taking a gap year & landing a job as au pair in Paris, and my son moving to town to study art and portraiture, I have compensated with travelling, usually in connection with teaching in the USA or France, NZ or Australia, all of which has connected me to fabulous women and a hot bed of creativity! However, I did manage three weeks touring India with the kids in tow before the year got going. I restricted taking work with me but couldn’t resist the watercolours! I find that holidays where I experience or learn something new is how I like to spend my time. I know many of you are in a similar position as the kids leave home. It’s a great time to develop the passions! And apparently learning is very good for the brain’s health and our longevity. The brain likes a challenge and new information! It’s a big thumbs up to being constantly curious and learning! Life is there to explore and we can always increase our skills and abilities. I hope you will enjoy learning more about yourself, about easels, painting and about making the most of this Fabulous time of our lives. So enjoy a packed LIVING ART and see you again soon!

Jacqueline Coates

LIVING WELL INTO OUR PRIME As our children grow up, leave home and work life shifts gears, you could be excused for thinking it’s time to slow down. Quite the contrary! Now is the prime time to keep those wheels spinning, learn a new craft or build that business you always dreamed of. It is never too late to live big and live well.

Dorthy Shore and business partners Jan Fletcher, Valerie Freeman, Dianne Patterson created an online magazine PRiME Women when they noted a gap in the market for people like themselves. Each was a highly successful entrepreneur in their own right, but set out to create something unique and meaningful together.

“We had become acutely aware that there was not one single publication that catered to us (women over 50), though there were dozens aimed at younger women…While there were a few online blogs aimed at our audience, none had gained any real traction and none spoke to us—the professional woman over 50,” Dorthy said.


“As we felt like we had just reached ‘the prime of our life’, we decided to name our online magazine, PrimeWomen.Com, and we set out to build a publication that catered to us. It was and, still is, a lifestyle guide for living well—not just living longer.”

the respect for yourself to invest the time and effort in your health and wellbeing and nurturing strong relationships. PRiME Women’s articles and information focus on everything from fashion to diet and exercise, to mental health, travel, and many niches in between.

To Dorthy and the team, living well does not necessarily mean simply ‘healthy’ – it is about enjoying every day to its fullest and appreciating your own worth. It’s about having

“Living well is enjoying every day, not just special days or vacations, but every day. That doesn’t mean every day is full of sunshine and roses, but it does mean that you are happy with yourself, your surroundings and the people in your life. Living well isn’t about income or stature in your community, it’s how you feel about your life,” she said.

“As someone once said, getting old is not for the faint of heart. Our bodies will wear out, that is a fact. However, we can hasten our own demise by not taking care of ourselves, both physically and mentally.” Looking after your physical health starts with watching your diet. Your body’s needs change as you age and many people find it more difficult to shift unwanted kilos. Dorthy recommends ensuring half your plate is covered with vegetables each meal and including minimum of 60 grams of protein for the day. Keep portions small and make sure


you are getting enough calcium. Exercise is also a must. For the PRiME Women, this means a 30 minute walk every day and weight training twice a week. This is critical to maintaining a healthy weight as well as assisting factors such as bone health and fall prevention. The other side to looking after yourself physically is being proud of your appearance. If you look good, you feel good and this has huge knock-on benefits to your mental wellbeing too. Dorthy recommends finding a good dermatologist to take care of your skin.

When it comes to looking after your mental health, fostering quality relationships is highly important. “Friendships are the key to mental health. They will help keep you active, learning and involved in the world,” Dorthy said.



“Feeding your mind and staying interested in the world around you goes hand and hand with good health.” PRiME Women has grown exponentially over the past five years and continues to thrive. They recently launched the program Second Acts, where women can receive the support and encouragement they need to launch a second career, study or pursue a new interest such as art. They have also introduced a weight management program for post-menopausal women. PLATE provides practical, relevant nutrition and weight loss advice targeted to the needs of the older womAn’s body. The PRiME Women website has a wealth of information available and some incredibly inspiring reads. Dorthy and the team have grand plans for the development of future initiatives, including a lifestyle television show, podcasting and book launches.

Learn to mix hundreds of colours from 5 tubes of paint Collect your e-lesson at

Stay up to date by subscribing to their free newsletter at @primewomen @PrimeWomen1





Greens are everywhere, and suggest nature and foliage. Greens are restful, refreshing, and widely vary in hue and shade. There is much more than one shade of green.

Lime green, olive green, emerald green, pale green, sage green, grey green, mustard green, blue green, turquoise green, hookers green, and perylene green are just some of the colour possibilities for greens.

It’s important to know how to use it in your painting. Too much is too much! Having a variety of greens is crucial. Knowing how to vary and mute the commercial preparations is critical, as straight from the tube can be shrill. In nature, there is more than one shade of green. My students are often surprised once they begin to take a good look and explore what is really there.



Here, I share some commercial ready-made greens I enjoy - many of which can be modified and softened easily with burnt umber or grey, or a little red if it’s too shrill. Visit my mixing greens youtube video for a free lesson to get more hues from your greens and enrich your paintings.



YOUR PAINTING PROBLEMS ANSWERED If you have any painting questions or technical difficulties you’d like help with please send them in and we will answer them! Please send your questions to;


How to dry your oil paintings with Jacqueline Coates

Can I mix Acrylic paint brands with Jacqueline Coates

Student quality paints versus professional quality paints

What is acrylic paint by Jacqueline Coates



Regardless if you paint in a studio, in a garden, in a garage or in your living room, a good easel is a painter’s best friend. And just like best friends, easels come in all different shapes and sizes and some is a better match to the artist than others! When choosing an easel it is important to think about what sort of painter you are and what requirements are most important to you. If you are thinking of investing in an easel it is good to do some research to ensure that you get the best one for your individual needs. When it comes to easels no one is more in the know how than the team at Jerry’s Artarama so we have asked them for some expert advice to make your job easier!


Why buy an easel? Easels are a tool that is used by artists to hold a substrate in place, allowing them to work on the surface easily. An easel is meant to hold the canvas or panel vertical or vertically angled, so that it’s easier to see your painting surface when working (to ensure your image isn’t skewed, as happens when working flat with most easel mediums). What are the different types of easels and what are they used for? Easels typically fall into one of 4 following classifications: 1. Tabletop Easels These are great alternatives if you don’t have space in your home for a freestanding easel. Tabletop Easels additionally have excellent portability, making them perfect for art classes, workshops, or even an easel for a friend or grandchild to use when visiting, since most fold away for storage or packing to carry. Table easels generally cannot hold large or very deep canvases easily, so carefully research what the maximum size painting substrate each will allow before making a purchase. 2. Studio Easels Studio Easels are freestanding, full sized easels designed for securing painting panels and canvases for the artist while they are painting. Within the Studio Easel category, there are 4 distinct styles of studio easels available: A-Frame or Lyre Easels: are what most classroom settings feature, and are perfect for hobbyists, new artists, and even for spare easels in your studio (since most can be folded flat and stored in a closet or under a bed). The hallmark of this easel style is a triangular shape that features 3 legs. H-Frame Easels: are a serious studio workhorse, and feature either one or two masts to secure larger canvases and panels, with the H-Frame preventing movement while working with these larger sizes.


Wall Mounted Easels: are ideal for painting in small rooms or to allow for multiple artists to paint in a classroom setting, as it keeps valuable floor space free for other needs. Wall mounted easels work well with smaller to medium sized painting substrates, and can be easily tilted forward for work with charcoal and pastels. Convertible/Hybrid Easels: These easels have the ability to adjust from vertical to horizontal (and everywhere in between), making it possible to work in any medium the artist desires. The stationary styles even have storage shelves underneath for supplies! 3. Field/Travel/Outdoor Easels & Pochade Boxes This category of easels is for travelling or painting outdoors, where portability is the premium you are paying for. They excel in lightening the load for getting gear to a location to work, and the ease of packing away to a small size for portability. The following styles fall into this category, and appeal to different artists for different reasons/uses: French Easels: Is the quintessential original painter’s travel easel, made famous by the French impressionists. The easels contain a sketch box that can house brushes, paint, a palette, and other sundries, that has tripod legs that can be unfolded and set up on uneven ground and leveled easily. Field Easels: Are sometimes called travel easels and are an extremely lightweight, folding tripods that do not have any supply box with them, and fold down to next to nothing in size. Pochade Boxes & Tripods: Are a hybrid tiny painting box, either designed with a small internal easel in the lid or to specifically carry/ hold a set size of panel in the lid to paint on. Pochade boxes can be used as a table easel or screwed onto a photography tripod to work standing or seated in the field.

4. Display Easels These lightweight easels aren’t for working, but for displaying art at art fairs, shows, etc. They come in tabletop and floor versions, and are typically lightweight and inexpensive (since they do not need to be engineered to hold work in place while being created). If an easel is termed as a display easel, do not consider it for purchase for working on! Is there a specific easel that is most suitable for beginners? If the beginner intends to take classes, they may want to find out if the facility provides easels during class, or if they will need to bring their own, as this may dictate what type ofeasel the beginner will need to start with. Determining what sizes the beginner wants to work in or what sizes they will need to produce for class will also dictate what easel style they may need- tabletop easels can only hold so large of a canvas. A beginner that wants to start from home that does not know how often they will paint or has a limited budget may want to start with a simple tabletop easel, since

it will be portable anywhere in the house, on vacation, or to classes. Beginners that want to invest in something more durable but are not sure of how seriously or often they may paint may want to look at basic A-Frame easels, since they can be folded down and stored under a bed or tucked in a closet-- but will allow for larger canvas painting than a tabletop easel. Are the easels that provide a good travel option? Field Easels are a great travel easel as they are extremely lightweight and fold down to next to nothing in size. They have a small adjustable mast and typically small adjustable clips on the legs that hold the bottom of the canvas, panel, or watercolor block. Most field easels can be adjusted vertically OR horizontally, which gives the ability to paint even with watercolors or fluid media in the field. Weights generally range around the 2kg mark, making them ideal for artists camping, backpacking, and travelling.


Is there anything in particular that I need to consider when buying easels and is there a specific easel that is most suitable for a long-term serious investment? These questions depend on you, the artist customer! No one likes doing homework-- but this is where it really counts-- making an easel purchase. Too many artists buy into fad bells and whistles, price points, or don’t do adequate research. Before purchasing an easel for long-term use, evaluate what medias you intend to use the easel for and ask yourself these 5 important questions: 1. How small to how large of substrates (panels, canvases, etc.) will you want to work on, both in dimensions and depth? a. How deep will these substrates be? Ensure that if you like to paint on deep-cradled panels or super deep gallery stretched canvases, the easel you buy easily holds these depths.

You may want to consider an easel with wheels, but will need to pay attention to the size of the easel and ensure it can fit through doorways easily… and also stairs, etc. Otherwise, it may be better to get a table easel or inexpensive A-Frame that is more portable for occasional use.

b. Some easels have minimum sizes they cannot go under (say 6x8”, for example), and all have a maximum size they can hold. If you want to paint 48x48” or larger, a table easel just isn’t going to work for you!

5. Do you paint in multiple mediums where a convertible easel may give you more options for work?

2. What work will you do down the road? If you may paint on non-traditional media, how deep and heavy these substrates will be? Will the easels you are looking at be able to handle heavy works (like painting on sheetrock, a car hood, etc.)? Some easels are specially designed with counterweights and even marine winches, to hold super heavy canvases and other substrates. 3. How high are the ceilings are in the room(s) you intend to use the easel in? Some easels will NOT work in some rooms or even some houses, if you intend to paint large. Pay attention to the maximum mast height on easels when researching them.


4. Do you want to use your easel in several places, like a sun porch and your kitchen or studio?

If you don’t have space for a worktable for traditional horizontal painting mediums, a convertible easel may just be the ticket to expand your workspace, since it adjusts back upright when your studio session is complete, minimizing the storage footprint. Identifying these set criteria as well as your needs for now AND down the road will help you determine what easel will be right for you, since a studio easel is an investment... It may be worth paying a little more up front for the right easel, than quickly growing out of the easel you initially bought, and regretting the purchase! Buying the right easel can be tough but we hope this guide from the expert team at Jerry’s Artarama has made it a little easier for you aspiring artists. Happy painting!







HOLIDAYS 7 Top Tips From A Self-Confessed ART GYPSY! By Jacqueline Coates

Above; In Rajasthan sketching. It’s no trouble to pack a pad and pencils in my handbag. Travelling and art inspiration go hand in hand. Being an artist, I can never switch off from the incredible, new visual information before me. And, holidays are no different! There are so many great opportunities to take beautiful photos, record new ideas or art inspirations and sometimes, to take a quiet moment to make a sketch, a painting, visit a new gallery or learn about new artists and their paintings. Travelling always refreshes &

increases my inspiration. It’s guaranteed that I pack my art supplies for a holiday; however, I can’t take everything due to luggage weight restrictions. Believe me, I have tried. My kids will no longer allow me to stuff their bags full of my ‘art supplies’! Having travelled and painted in India, France, Italy, Spain, Morocco, and Asia, I have some useful tips collected over the years.


My Top 7 Travelling Artist Tips 1. CAPTURE THE MOMENT, PAINT IT LATER Pack a smartphone or a tablet. Be sure to make plenty of room for storage for your photos. Pack the battery charger too, and buy an international travel plug adaptor. Smartphones have excellent cameras, so much so, that I no longer carry my bulky SLR with me anymore. Smartphones are lightweight and excellent for recording video memories. Paint from photographic stills later at home, when you have more time to create. It’s a great way to remind yourself of the impression of a place and prolong the holiday feeling when painting from the photos. If you’d like to learn an easy way to paint from photos visit

2. THE WATERCOLOUR APPROACH Pocket palettes of watercolours are extremely small, lightweight, and fit in the smallest of handbags. Carry bottled water for the painting water if needed. I’ve even used white wine at an Italian cafe to capture a scene. You will also need a pocket-size or postcard-size watercolour pad. Cotmans and Winsor and Newton are my favourite brands for travel, and recently, I have been engaging with a set of 48 watercolours which has additional pinks and greens, handy for a floral artists. I now sell these on my website at

Watercolours are not only lightweight, they are inexpensive. The paint is compressed into ‘pans’ or pellets of paint, which activate when you add water. Clean up is easy; get yourself a few additional watercolour brushes and a handbag size watercolour pad, pack a bottle of water, and you’re in business. Most watercolour sets have an extendable palette. On a trip to Italy, I painted 22 watercolours on tour, later selling 18 of them. That’s 18 sales at $300 each, for a total of $5400, which covered airfares for myself AND the kids. A great way to pay for your holiday!


Moroccan sketch book ‘La Moumamia’ sketches 3. SKETCH PAD APPROACH Pack a small sketch pad or diary and some soft lead pencils or favourite felt tip sketching pen, as this is a no fuss way to absorb the environments you find yourself in. A diary fits in your handbag or backpack easily; no need to wait for anything to dry. Although, I never create sales pieces from these sketches, it helps me to take in the visual information of a new area in a completely different way. The drawings are for me. I may use the images as reference for printmaking or painting later. It helps me to notice what I am interested in to reflect on the drawings later. Think of it as a meditation for your art. It’s certainly a very peaceful way to absorb your surroundings. Not everything has to be saleable. This is for you, the inner poet. If travelling with non-artists, sketching is non-intrusive because

you can sketch with minimal set up or time out from the group. 4. THE COLLAGE APPROACH Create a travelling pencil case with scissors and glue, and make postcard collages on the way, when you have time i.e. when you are on a train journey. Collect pretty brochures and pamphlets and add drawing elements. Add a stamp from the foreign country, post it to yourself and the postcard artwork has now become a traveller complete with its own stamp from the foreign country. Stamps are often beautiful and add local colour and personality from the country you are visiting. Make sure you pack the scissors in your main luggage, not your cabin baggage or they will be confiscated at security.


6. TRAVEL WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE PATIENT OR LIKE-MINDED Travel with people who will allow you to soak up and enjoy your trip from an artist’s point of view. That means being patient with you occasionally, whilst you photograph something that captures your attention, or being prepared to browse the shops whilst you sketch or paint the C’ote D’Azure. Better still, take your holidays with other artists, as you are all motivated to make the most of every opportunity. Here I am with my students in French Art School, about to paint love in Monet’s garden in Giverny at a private access session.

5. CHOOSE ACCOMMODATION THAT DOUBLES AS A STUDIO Choose inspiring surroundings to have great subject matter close at hand. Or, simply enjoy extra space to create. I painted a magnificent monochromatic painting from the window of a pensione, overlooking spectacular Tuscany, from the fortress town of Monteriggioni. I used gouche from small tubes on a large watercolour pad. It was a rainy day and the colours were muted, yet the hills, the cypresses, and outlines of the old spires and churches were magnificent subject matter. What’s more, it was all done in comfort, peering out of my own room with a view. Meanwhile, everyone else I was travelling with was napping. I later sold that painting unframed, for $1450. Combined with the $5400 made earlier from the watercolours, I was travelling at a profit, which was important as a single mum, responsible for the finances of my family. It helped me to have a worry-free time to be producing lovely pieces of art. In Varanasi, India, I enjoyed my hotel room desk to create watercolours as shown in the photo. In Paris, I always have a room with a tiny balcony!


7. HOW TO TRAVEL WITH ACRYLICS Painting with acrylics is handy because they dry quickly and easily and can pack at a moment’s notice. Acrylics can look like oils when varnished. I love oils, but they require a studio, where they can be left to dry or a kind relative or friend can store them for you and post to you later. I’ve gone to all sorts of crazy extremes for my oil paintings on holidays! One favourite memory is painting in oils, whilst the kids slept in at our rented apartment in Paris. I added cobalt drier to the paint to speed drying and hung the painting out the window in winter to maximise the exposure of the painting to air. It rained of course. The painting was still wet at the time of travel, so I then created space between the painting surface and packaging by building up the edges with wedges and placing card over the top, creating a cavity. Later back home, someone loved the oil sketch and ordered a large painting from it, which I sold for $3500. There is something about capturing the actual colours of a place that can’t be replaced by working from a photo later on. I had the opportunity to sell the oil sketch, but I turned it down because my painting time in Paris was so precious to me.

The reason I created French Art School is because I absolutely adore to create in oils, and it’s the height of luxury to be able to paint HOW I WANT TO when in France, and have somewhere for the paintings to dry. Now, after 30 years of being an artist, I have my own fully equipped ballroom studio in the heart of France’s Limousin region, where Monet also painted. I share that with my students on French Art School, so they can have it, too. These days, I value painting with acrylics on tour. To learn how to make 100’s of colours from 5 tubes of paint, so you can pack light visit my free art lesson WHAT NOT TO PACK Never pack flammables, such as, oil painting mediums or turps as they were never meant to fly. These can always be purchased at your destination. Go water based for paints and you can’t go wrong. To find out more about painting on tour in France visit French Art School. french-art-school-nice-french-riviera/



FOR THE SOUL If you think about it, art has played a significant role in your life since you were a child. It began when you scrawled messy, smeared swirls across a piece of construction paper with rainbow-colored Crayons. It continued when you doodled whimsical images in the margins of your schoolwork and experimented with sparkly palettes of eyeshadow in high school.

Then, once you finally had children of your own, you helped them learn to color inside the lines and use their painted fingers to create masterpieces that only a parent could cherish for years to come. As you age, cling desperately to this untapped love of creativity and magic. Whether you’re an empty-nester with lots of time on her hands or a woman who is looking for a new outlook on


life, you’ll find that any colorful soul will blossom under the soft touch of a paintbrush. Painting is more than just a hobby. For many, it’s an activity that allows old memories, muscles, and emotions to play as they did when they were younger. It unleashes unbridled excitement and imagination in a way few other hobbies can.

When you grip a paintbrush and focus on rendering an image on a page, you remind yourself that your fingers are capable and strong, just as they were when you lifted a fallen child off the ground. When you mix together blues and greens in your paint tray, you visualize the color of a loved one’s eyes or recall the exact shade of the ocean you grew up by. When you take your easel outside and devote a few solitary hours to your art, you give your heart a break to enjoy nature and grow in a way it never has before. Now, more than ever, is the time to tap into that joy that’s found in painting, and there are scientific studies to back that claim up. When working on your art, you engage your cognitive and motor processing centers, which can lead to greater psychological resilience (according to a study conducted by researchers in 2014). Think of painting as a method of exercising your brain, just like you would stretch your legs and go for a run. Each

time you grip a paintbrush and begin to create, you train your mind to withstand the stress and negativity of the outside world. A study in the 2010 version of the American Journal of Public Health indicated that art can help you foster a positive attitude, explore areas of emotional growth, and even tackle that ball of anxiety that’s been nestled in your chest for the past few years. The roots of creativity run deep, and the more you let them expand, the more psychological benefits you will begin to reap. The positive effects extend past your cognitive health and reach into the very core of your personality. So, no matter how amateur or expert your artistic skills may be, do your soul a favor and give it the chance to breathe life into a canvas packed with bright colors and memories. As Joseph Campbell once said, “The goal of life is rapture. Art is the way we experience it. Art is the transforming experience.”

“Most importantly, get yourself out of the way, and have a go!” Editor In Chief Jacqueline Coates




YOU HAVE LIVED IN FRANCE FOR MUCH OF YOUR LIFE. WHAT IS IT ABOUT LIVING IN FRANCE THAT IS SO APPEALING? I first fell in love with France when I arrived in Nice on the Cote d’Azur as a student and couldn’t believe how lucky I was to have a whole year ahead of me in such a beautiful part of the world. Although I have now lived here all my adult life, I still see the French-ness: the beauty of the landscapes; the charming architecture; the great food and the everyday attention to detail.


When it comes to living your best life no one knows how to do it better than British- born author and entrepreneur Sharon Santoni. Although she has lived in France for most of her adulthood, Santoni remains enthralled and inspired by the culture of her adopted home and shares her love and passion for all things French on her popular blog, My French Country Home. In addition to her blog, which is read daily by thousands of like minded souls all across the globe, Santoni also offers tours of her beloved Normandy to visitors wanting to explore the area and discover the beauty or the region and uncover treasures hidden away in the best antique shops in the region. And if that was not enough she has just launched her very own online magazine My French Country Home Magazine which continues to spread the joy and her love of all things French!

Getting to grips with an education system that was very different from the one I had known; enjoying the space we had in Normandy, which allowed the children to grow up with dogs and horses galore.

SINCE YOUR BABIES HAVE FLOWN THE NEST YOU HAVE EMBARKED ON SOME WONDERFUL PROJECTS INCLUDING YOUR BLOG, WRITING BOOKS, HOSTING TOURS AND NOW LAUNCHING YOUR OWN ONLINE MAGAZINE, WHERE DOES THIS PASSION AND DRIVE COME FROM? I started the blog when my youngest child was 13, and having been a full time Mom for 20 years I was beginning to feel redundant. On New Year’s Eve 2009 I raised my glass of champagne and announced to anyone listening that “2010 would be the year I will reinvent myself!” Two months later I started the blog, not sure if anyone would ever read me, and things have just grown from there.

Here we ask Santoni a few questions about her life, business and her passion for living life in France.


I am at a moment in my life where I could be happy taking care of my home and my garden, but instead I find myself thrown into working full time, with my own small business. As well as the blog, we offer subscription boxes and this year we launched a magazine, which is very exciting. I love the buzz, I love the activity, and I love the continual and daily learning curves. I love to share, to communicate and to highlight the talents of people around me. I feel very fortunate to have been able to develop this activity.

DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE PASSION OR PASTIME? I work pretty much full time or more, but I have the huge luxury of having my office at home, in a building beside the main house. My garden is very important to me, and I love that I can step out of my office at any time and walk around the garden to check what’s new. While the children were growing up, we had horses in a field behind our house and we rode for miles and miles around the valley. It was heaven! This is great riding country and today I miss that contact with nature, but I still walk a lot with the dogs. And of course when I have the time, I love to set up an easel in the garden and paint. I’m a very messy painter so this tends to be a summer only activity!

YOU HAVE A BEAUTIFUL HOME AND GARDEN – TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOUR HOMES STYLE AND ABOUT YOUR MAGNIFICENT GARDEN. Thank you! I love my garden. In every aspect of my life I want instant gratification, but in my garden I am quite content to plant and say, “that will look great in a few year’s time”. A garden is always a work in progress, an ever-changing painting.


With a large family, both the house and the garden had to adapt to our busy lives, so comfort was more important than expensive art for example. I like to think that the house is friendly and cosy, and that it always feels welcoming for family and friends.

IF YOU HAD TO CHOOSE ONE FAVOURITE, MOST CHERISHED POSSESSION WHAT WOULD IT BE? WHERE DID YOU FIND THIS TREASURE AND WHAT MAKES IT SO SPECIAL TO YOU? That is a very difficult question to answer… But it may be a painting that my husband and I bought for our first apartment, when actually we really needed some furniture. It is the portrait of two women, circa 1940, they are strong, interesting looking characters, and they have followed us around from house to house for decades!

FRANCE IS WELL KNOWN FOR THEIR ASSORTMENT OF BEAUTIFUL ANTIQUE SHOPS – WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE US NOVICES WHEN HUNTING FOR HIDDEN GEMS? Follow your heart rather than a fashionable trend; don’t be afraid to dig through the boxed full of dust!

WHAT SO YOU LOVE THE MOST ABOUT LIVING IN FRANCE? The everyday beauty that I see around me in the architecture and the landscapes!


ART BLOGGERS YOU MUST FOLLOW Finding the right community and platform to socialise about art can be challenging, especially when there is a huge amount of bias opinion surrounding art. Here are the best platforms and communities for artists to share their knowledge, art and ideas for others to learn and get inspired from.


1. Artsy Shark

4. Doodler Anonymous

Carolyn is the founder of Art Shark. Her mission is to inspire every artist to build a better art business online. She posts articles that are filled with tips and expert advice for artists that are growing their brand.

Doodler Anonymous is all about doodling. The website helps anyone who doodles share their drawings. Any doodle is shared on their site.

2. Art Biz Succes

5. Right Brain Rockstar

Art Biz helps unknown artists become known. As they post opportunities for artists to show their work in exhibitions and galleries. They also have a studio for artists to use and explore their skills.

Right Brain Rockstar is all about helping artists take their brand from paper into the real world. Not only does the founder Dan, want to help inspire artists to grow their brand, but he also helps them get paid for what they do.

3. Daily Art Fix

6. Arrested Motion

Daily Art Fixx was started in 2009 and was created for educational and inspirational purposes. Wendy the founder, posts articles, images and events for artists to learn and get inspired.

Arrested Motion updates any artists that are looking for upcoming exhibitions. From galleries to street art, Arrested Motion shares it all. Their aim to help motivate and inspire artists to also share their works in galleries all over the world.


7. Booooooom

10. Colossal

Boooooom was launched in 2008 by artist Jeff Hamada. Boooooom is Canada’s top art platform. The website specifically helps share upcoming artist’s works and exhibitions all over Canada.

Colossal is an online gallery of visual art. The founders’ goal is to help educate artists and help inspire them not criticise and interpret the art. They don’t want to label or categories any works.

8. Brooklyn Street Art

11. The Jealous Curator

Brooklyn Street Art is all about finding trends. They collect inspiration for other artists that specify in street art. Not only does Brooklyn Street Art provide inspiration but also locations for aspiring artists to experience it in person.

The Jealous Curator was created in 2009. The founders’ ambition was to share artworks that made her “jealous”. She wants to share amazing art that can help inspire, other artists to embrace their level of talent and help them understand that there is so much more to learn.

9. Brwn Paper Bag

12. Nowness

Brwn Paper Bag is specifically based around embroidery and illustration. Sara is the founder of the website is helping alternative artists to find inspiration.

Nowness is all about culture. The founder wants to help artists recognise the cultures of the world and different views of beliefs. Nowness is all about showing everyone perspective and ideologies of art and creation.






Artists are going online to make money from their passion -and you can too Art + profit are not usually spoken about in the same breath - at least not by the artists picking up a paint brush or pencil. But online marketplaces such as Modern Art America and its sister site Pixels, have opened up a whole new world for creatives to find a worldwide audience and hopefully make some profit from their passion at the same time. The platform was established back in 1996 when US engineer-by-trade Sean Broihier built a website that allowed artists and galleries to upload works of art for sale. The site turned a profit from the first month and now, more than ten years later, sells more than half a million artists’ works worldwide. ‘I love the fact that my “art” is helping hundreds of thousands of artists all over the world transform their own artwork into successful online business. I’m an independent entrepreneur helping hundreds of thousands of independent artists become entrepreneurs as well,’ explains Sean. The premise is simple: artists upload their art digitally to their own mini shop on Modern Art America or Pixels and then decide what format they want to sell their art in. Shoppers can choose to buy an original work or a digital image reproduced as a print, greeting card, poster or canvas. They can even choose whether or not to have the pieces framed or unframed, and personalise that design too. Most of Fine Art America’s features are available to artists through a free membership plan which includes a profile page and online portfolio among many other features. For $30 a year, though, artists can have their own website and sell through that, using Fine Art America’s technology and fulfilment process embedded in that site - a hugely attractive feature. But perhaps even more excitingly, both free and paid for memberships allow artists to sell their art in other, less traditional formats. A customer can order your work on a mobile


phone case, beach towel, throw cushion, coffee mug or greeting card among other items. Thanks to digital reproduction and print on demand, the possibilities are endless. The result is a wonderful and original way of ensuring art becomes an every day joy that can be appreciated by all, not just those with the budget to afford an original piece. The money side of things is just as simple. Fine Art America charges a base price for an item and it’s up to the artist to choose how much more to add on as their mark up and profit. Once the purchase is made by a customer, Fine Art America outsources the production and fulfillment to its partner businesses across the globe. So a shopper in Melbourne can order a framed print created by a Danish artist and have it produced and sent to them by a local Australian company. From the artist’s perspective, the most important thing to remember is that Fine Art America is like a virtual shop front. It’s still up to the artist to drive traffic by promoting themselves. And while Fine Art America does occasionally help promote artists with featured interviews, that’s not commonplace. The system where browsing customers ‘like’ particular paintings, helps those works and artists become more visible but, again, it’s vital artists to do their own marketing if they want to be seen and found. ‘I am very open with all of our artists about the need to market themselves,’ explains Sean. ‘A musician doesn’t add her songs to iTunes and then sit back and hope that people find the songs and take a listen. The musician is out there playing bars, coffee shops, touring the country, promoting on social media, etc. You have to use the tools at your disposal to create your own success. We provide our artists with an incredibly powerful set of tools, but it’s up to them to use them.’

LIVING ART’S TIPS FOR ONLINE SUCCESS Don’t limit yourself to one platform. The most successful artist entrepreneurs spread themselves across many outlets. Consider other marketplaces too such as SmugMug, Zenfolio, Artspan, Imagekind and the Australian sites Redbubble and Art Lovers Australia. Don’t expect these sites to market for you. Think of them as the equivalent of Ebay or Amazon. It’s up to you to get your customers to your shopfront. Remember to keep your information online updated. Tend to your information like a garden that changes with the seasons. Do your research. Fine Art America has a forum where artists share their triumphs, tips and frustrations. Play around with pricing. If you’re new, consider pricing below your nearest competitors so you can start making sales. When you’re established, increase them. However, also price carefully and not too cheap. Customers often assume a low price means low quality. Be savvy with your descriptions. Art can be searched for by size, colour, mood, subject matter and more and artists are free to use whatever tags might bring customers to their virtual shop front. Market yourself everywhere: use Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and blog about your work to get your art out there. Connect with your local community and let them know what you do.

“The difference between a rich artist & a poor artist is the rich artist has learned how to market their work.”

The Make Money From Art Program Visit the link to learn how to profit from your passion here

Do your research. Fine Art America has a forum where artists share their triumphs, tips and frustrations.



For many mums, when it comes time for the kids to leave the nest, it is a time of complete sorrow and mourning. No longer can you wake them up for school or take care of them when they’re ill. However, the truth is that this time doesn’t have to be all sadness and emptiness; as much as this is an exciting time for your child, this could also be an interesting and exciting time for you as well.


For the mums whose life goal was to raise children, instead of feeling sad that they are gone, congratulate yourself! You have brought them this far and if your child has left the nest for college this is a milestone you should both be feeling proud of yourselves for.

There are many activities you can partake in with the extra time you might have. You can join clubs such as a sewing club or even a book club. Reading can help by taking your mind off your everyday stresses and allows you to escape into another world.

This can be an empowering moment in your life and a time where you can reinvent yourself in a healthy way. You might have extra time on your hands now to pick up a new hobby or even spend more time with your spouse.

Another beneficial activity that you may have more time for now is physical activity. Sign up for a gym membership and join exercise classes - this can also be an opportunity to make new friends.


Another activity that can help you cope with having an empty nest, which is especially fun and benefits you emotionally, creatively, and psychologically, is painting. Not only is painting a great stress reliever and instantly relaxing, it creates a more beautiful and optimistic attitude towards life. Through painting you are able to pour out all of your emotions into a piece of work. It can become a cathartic experience releasing all your emotions into a single canvas which can definitely help you with getting your emotions


in check. While painting does not offer many physical benefits, its overall emotional health benefits are extremely valuable. In short, this transition in you and your child’s life doesn’t have to be a complete sad time. This is the perfect time to reignite old passions of yours while developing a new identity. You are not only a mother, now ask yourself what are your passions?








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Living Art Magazine  

Living Art Magazine is the authoritative resource on all things Art related for curious people seeking the joy of creating something themse...

Living Art Magazine  

Living Art Magazine is the authoritative resource on all things Art related for curious people seeking the joy of creating something themse...