The McGregor Summer Arts Retreat has launched its line-up of workshops to be held at USQ Toowoomba from Sunday 13 to Saturday 19 January early 2019. Some of Australia’s most prolific tutors will return to teach, along with new tutors to the McGregor mix, including acrylics artists Barry and Lucy McCann, ceramic artist John Tuckwell and milliner Brett Morely.

One local Toowoomba artist eagerly anticipating the upcoming workshops is Robyn Gray, Encouragement Award Winner at the recent Facets of Fairholme art exhibition. It was a 2017 new year’s resolution to “put her art out there” after practicing for five years. Robyn now concentrates on painting figures in landscape, prompting requests for a dozen commissions in the past year. When asked about her experience of winning the McGregor Retreat Encouragement Award for her painting In Grandma’s Garden, Robyn said the painting depicted one of her favourite subjects, children in landscape. “This one was of a little girl tying her shoes in the garden, with chickens for companionship,” she said. “Winning the USQ Artsworx/McGregor school encouragement award was a big and welcome surprise as I have always wanted to attend a McGregor Summer Retreat and take part in the experience with fellow artists from around the country.” Robyn has chosen one of McGregor’s new tutor workshops, Acrylics with Barry and Lucy Mc-Cann.“I chose Barry and Lucy McCann’s class as I wanted to stick to acrylics and hone my skills to a higher level hopefully,” she said.

Robyn has actively encouraged other artists starting out to take action to improve their skills. “I encourage anyone who has an artistic passion to take action and by little steps – visit the
local library and read every art book that takes your eye, do a McGregor school, and paint what inspires you,” she said. Robyn has donated 10 per cent of her profit from painting sales to a research charity for Parkinson’s disease in honour of her mother.

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