My name is Tony White and I’m from Tasmania, Australia. I wake up, having dreamed about painting and make my way to the kitchen to make a coffee. As the dark, golden espresso drips consistently from the spout, I steam my milk. It transforms from thin to a luscious, velvety liquid that pairs perfectly with the double-shot of espresso that awaits.
As I pour the milk into the coffee, to create one of the best ‘marriages’ in the culinary world, it occurs to me that I need to do a painting, using only espresso, with no paint. I did that and although the coffee painting was a long time ago and unsuccessful, it was a turning point.
As a kid, I always drew stuff. I was never very good, but perhaps better than the kid next to me, most of the time. I remember having a set of water paints given to me as a gift. They were little round cakes of barely-there pigment. It came with a little brush that had about 5 hairs in it. I was around 9 years old. It was great fun. I remember being upset when certain colours ran out.
It was then that I accidentally started to learn how to mix colours. When I was a teenager, an elderly English lady moved next door to us and became fast friends with my Mum. I hadn’t painted since the old cakes ran out years earlier, but when I found out our new neighbour (Beatrice) was a watercolourist, I was immediately hooked again.
She was great. She bought me a set of Winsor & Newton Artist quality paints with the proviso that I paint with her in her studio. I did. It was amazing. She taught me so much about paint being fresh and expressive and vibrant. I loved those days.
Unfortunately, she moved away, and I stopped painting. This whole time, I also played guitar, so music took over for the next 20 years or so.
I was inspired one day to pick it up again, so I got some materials, set up a spare room as a studio and away I went. I was hooked. Again. It was around this time that the coffee incident happened. It is true that I dream about painting. I did then. I do now. I love it. It is infectious.
I began attending workshops of some of the greats in the field and I was soon inspired to teach a workshop myself. My local Art Society hosted it and it was full and a great success. I used to teach guitar, so I have always loved the teaching side of things, so it was a natural fit. I love it.
Materials I use are Schmincke paints, Saunders Waterford 300g ROUGH paper and various brushes. I have been paying a lot of attention to my Youtube channel that is slowly growing. I love teaching. Making tutorial videos for YouTube is very satisfying as it gives me direct contact with other artists and students all around the world.
I am lucky enough to have begun gaining a strong reputation as a tutor and having quit my day job a little over a year ago, I am keeping busy, teaching all over Australia and starting to head overseas with it as well.
I am inspired by light. Even in the most innocuous of scenes, if the light is dramatic and the mood is misty or sharp or rainy, then I’m in. I believe a painting should move you emotionally and if you have to explain it, then it isn’t doing its job.
If I had any advice for anyone out there, it would be to immerse yourself totally into your painting. Be a student of the greats. Copy them for a while but be very conscious to develop your OWN style and vision. It takes time and it is forever evolving. Keep going. Paint. Paint. Paint.Recommended3 recommendationsPublished in