I am a working artist, whose work responds to people and their environs, capturing them in their everyday life situations.
Signatory member of VAS since 1996, Exhibiting member of Melbourne Society of Women Painters and Sculptors since 2002.
Artist Gwendoline Krumins VAS painting at a VAS Portrait Painting day, 2019
For the first few years in high school, I was fortunate to have very good art teachers. We would take it in turns sitting for the class to learn how to observe the figure. One teacher, a practicing artist herself, asked me to model at her warehouse studio in North Melbourne over several sittings. It was an amazing experience for a twelve-year-old.
In the late 60s my father painted in a studio at the back of the barber's shop, under the instruction of a Max Meldrum enthusiast. Dad encouraged me to enter a local art exhibition whilst modelling for him in the kitchen one night, as the exhibition had a children's section. I received my first 'highly commended' which enthused me somewhat. Dad asked his teacher if he would take me on for classes, so with a friend in tow, we were taught, the same as the adults from the young age of 10. We observed and painted still life set ups and the occasional friend who would model for us. Not being able to afford canvas, we were given gessoed cardboard advertisements.
From 1972 I attended classes with a French painter who had trained at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. This teacher believed that drawing needed to be learnt first. With this Frenchman's direct lineage to Paris, I became familiar with the European method of indirect painting by first creating a grisaille in Raw Umber and White, then glazing up to 7–10 layers of colour. We copied many master copies and after several years of studying this way, I asked to learn the impressionist methods. His clue was that each square inch should have 3 to 5 colours, sometimes coming from the one brushstroke.
I declined my parents offer to send me to RMIT in the early 70s, having visited on Open Day, I was not impressed with the student’s presentation at that time. I was more inclined to like traditional art, so I continued learning through various private classes. I would also visit the NGV and draw from artwork, making notes about my observations. I also joined the Glenroy Art Group who were thriving with some good artists at that time.
I took on my first student at the age of 19. Thrilled by the results achieved, I started up a small art school (1975) in a shopfront, $10 a week rent. Six people applied for classes and that was the beginning of a wonderful teaching career which continues to this day. I have also taught at the Victorian Artists Society in 2001 evenings (adults) and in 2004 Saturday mornings (teenagers).
In my 20s, working as a secretary in a publishing firm, I had many opportunities to meet authors. This led to illustrating several children's books.
As a member (since 1996) and convenor of the Friday Group of Painters, who gather each Friday in the VAS studio, there has been a great deal of opportunity to practice painting from the model. This group have varied backgrounds, styles, and painting abilities and over the years have given us the opportunity to share thoughts and methods. Bill Harding, sadly missed, mentored many with his insights and knowledge. The group continues to encourage one another.
Painting each week from the model, the paintings began to pile up around me, hence over the past few years, I have been painting in handmade books to keep as a collection.
With family and friends overseas, my husband and I have always been avid travellers. With a sketchbook and pen, I am drawn to the response of everyday life situations and street scenes. These sketches evoke the subject's sensation that I responded to at the time. Back at home in the studio, I can then recall my observations from sketches and photo references.
As a Signatory Member of the VAS, I have partaken in the Portrait Exhibition (winning in 2017) and Select Exhibitions, winning in 2018 and 2021, with many Highly Commendations in between.
I have been hung alongside other finalists in the VAS Artist of the Year many times.
I am a member of the Melbourne Society of Women Painters and Sculptors, winning the Annie Davison Award in 2020, and several awards in their annual exhibitions since 2010.
Demonstrations for various artist societies, judging art exhibitions, teaching, and continuing to advance my own creative skills keeps me busy. Amongst like-minded people, I will never stop learning. I'm not sure what to call myself, perhaps it's better for others to name a style, but if I have to, I'd probably say I'm a tonal impressionist, I just love to draw and paint.
Gwendoline Krumins VAS
'Catching up on the news', Oil by Gwendoline Krumins VAS
'Friday's Model', Oil by Gwendoline Krumins VAS
'AW Harding', Oil by Gwendoline Krumins VAS
'Artists' Mother', Oil by Gwendoline Krumins VAS
'Portrait of Dinny,' Oil by Gwendoline Krumins VAS
'Rhodes', Oil by Gwendoline Krumins VAS
We would like to pay our respects to the traditional owners of the land on which our building stands, their leaders, past, present and emerging.