Our scheduled speaker, Nafisa Naomi, had to withdraw at the last minute as she was involved
in a traffic accident, (fortunately not seriously hurt).
We were extremely grateful to Tina Spira for
stepping into the breach for us and presenting a most interesting talk and demonstration of
Tina talked briefly about the history and varying styles of miniature art, especially those which
influenced her. She showed us images of the magnificent The Book of Hours painted in the
15th century by the Limbourg brothers for the Duc de Berry.
Tina originally trained as an illustrator, often working in pen and ink. She showed us an image
of a fabulous greeting card which she had designed. Tina illustrated a poem she liked called
The Peacock at Home for her master’s degree. “As I got older, my work was getting smaller
After living in the Bahamas for about 4 years she came to Australia and the first thing she did
was to illustrate a book about Lamington, a koala. “I often depict flowers and birds. I designed
and illustrated my own business card, but the printer said it would be too difficult to print.”
Tina is also a portrait painter and showed us many portraits of her daughter at varying ages
and done in varying sizes. She also showed us a miniature portrait she had painted of Pat
Moyes, who many members will remember from KAS and who was a founding member of the
Tina often draws inspiration from her travels. She will sketch and take photos, and later
assemble her composition from these – sometimes with the help of a computer to see how the
Tina then demonstrated for us by working on a floral image depicted on black paper. “I start
with a detailed drawing, with nothing out of place. Everything absolutely as I want it to be. Then
I add colour. I use Arches hot press 300 gsm paper or Canson black paper. Canson pastel
paper is also good. I only use about 6 colours – 3 cool primaries and 3 warm primaries. I put
cling wrap over my palette and put it in the fridge. You don’t have to waste it.” Tiny worked in
part from an A4 reference picture – I like it to be large – at least A4 – so I can see the detail.
Also, I’m making it up – I’ve seen enough images of grass and flowers – I know what they look
like.” Tina usually uses a size 3 brush, or a size 2 if using gouache. She never uses smaller
than that. A painting will take on average about a week, although they can take up to four
months. She only works on one painting at a time. When using gouache she likes it to be really
thick – like butter. If not thick enough she will add white gouache.
All types of art – from abstract to traditional – and all types of materials (watercolour, gouache,
oils, acrylics, pastels) can be used in miniature painting and drawing.
Tina is a very experienced teacher and will be taking our next workshop on the 8th October.
Whatever type of art you do – have a go at doing it in miniature! Come along to our workshop
and give it a go, you might get hooked! (Details are on our website www.ourkas.com.au)
Thankyou Tina – a terrific talk and demo and at such short notice.
Our Guest Speaker for the KAS September 2016 Meeting was to be Nafisa Naomi presenting on Watercolour
“My work reflects close observation of the subject and an intention to reveal it’s true character, not simply the superficial likeness. Ultimately I want my artwork and my actions to be viewed for what I create them to say –we are individuals, as is each flower and animal, and we all deserve to live to express that uniqueness.”
- Nafisa has exhibited extensively overseas and in Australia and her most recent awards have included the Packers Prize for the Archibald 2010, the Black Swan prize for portraiture 2008, after having won the Gold Medal for Painting at the Florence Biennale from a field of 800 artists from 60 nations in Dec 2007.
- She has been represented as a finalist in every major art prize including the Dobell Prize for Drawing, the Blake Prize, The Kedumba Drawing Award, the Portia Geach Portrait Award, amongst others.
- Nafisa graduated with a Masters of Fine Art from the National Art School in Sydney 2008. She holds the position of Fellow at the Royal Art Society of NSW. She continues to exhibit in Europe, the USA and England and gives select tutorials in portraiture and life painting, from her studio in Sydney and in workshops abroad.
- In 2002, upon returning from NY having won a certificate of Merit at the International Portrait Competition for her Portrait of Salvatore Zofrea (which later won the Mosman Art Prize, PC), she founded Portrait Artists Australia, which gives professional portrait artists a platform and the public a database to source commissions from.