Our Accommodation for the first few days of the Margaret River Workshop was at the old Karridale  Homestead Complex. The homestead was built in the late 1800’s and moved to Margaret River in the early 1960’s. Motel style accommodation was later added, the homestead serving as a restaurant and conference room.


Our first morning painting was in the comfortable courtyard of the Homestead.


After going through all the techniques and materials I like to use everyone chose a small part of the courtyard and, using just two colors, concerntrated on composition and tonal contrast to squeeze as much out of their subject as possible.


That afternoon we walked down to the river. The overcast sky illuminated the gatehouse on a small foot bridge. It was a great subject, but the chilly wind forced us to retreat around 4:30


Next day we traveled down to the South West tip of WA to Cape Leeuwin where the Southern Ocean and Indian Ocean meet.


We found a small sheltered beach and spent the morning painting the lighthouse and surrounding buildings.




The old Post Office and general store at Witchcliff was closed down a few years ago and is slowly starting to crumble


The interesting shapes and textures kept us busy painting for the afternoon


A workshop in Margaret River wouldn’t be complete without painting in one of the wineries. We chose a windy hillside in Voyager Estate. The cold breeze and beckoning cellar full of excellent wines just up the path, meant the painting session finished fairly quickly.




Voyager brought out some of their best wines for us to sample before sitting down to a great lunch in the dining room.



After lunch we found an interesting door at the back of the winery.  A simple subject, great surroundings and the warm fuzzy feeling brought about by good food and wine made this a lot of fun to paint.


The next day we traveled to Pemberton and the giant Karri forests of South West WA.




After the windy weather near  the coast, the stillness of the Karri forests was a welcome change


Vertical lines of the Karri trees descend into a chaotic mixture of bushes, ferns and flowers. The formal verticals and varied colorful textures make a great subject.


The last three days of the workshop were spent at the Kari Valley Resort just out of Pemberton. You can hire a fishing rod and catch trout from your balcony.



The resort is on the edge of Lake Beedelup. There are walking tracks around the lake and a suspension bridge over the spectacular falls



We had our own private dining room perched over the lake.


Our farewell dinner was a great night – Steak, Barramundi and local wine. It’s always sad saying goodbye to everyone but hopefully we will all catch up again sometime.

Many Thanks to Amanda Sloan, our tireless, hardworking tour guide, for making this such a great workshop


  1. Howdy John,
    In the top painting on this page (Margaret River Workshop) – what 2 colors were used to create it? I’m thinking indigo and burnt sienna. It’s a beautiful combination.
    _ Joe

    • Hi Joe,
      You are right, Indigo and Burnt Sienna, but rather than squeeze them from a pre mixed tube I mixed both colors from Alizarin Crimson, Quinacridone Gold and French Ultramarine before I started the painting. This produces a much more transparent Burnt Sienna color, unlike the traditional Burnt Sienna which is sedimenty and opaque.

  2. Hi John and Dianne, Just checked out the workshop photos at Margaret River and your trip from there to homebase, wonderful pics and i just wanted to say Thanks for a wonderful experience,i am hoping to do another in the future and i am still practicing John.
    Best Wishes Helen

    • Hi Helen,
      Thanks for your advice on those little old mining settlements up around Leonora – We loved Gwalia.
      Margaret River was a great fun. I finally got that last painting finished when I arrived home!
      I hope you are doing plenty of painting and look forward to maybe catching up on another workshop.

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