A little Inspiration from Carolyn Cardinet

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By Celeste Hawkins

It is so nice to look back at your past, at all those great people that have given you a little hint here or a big kick there. Have you ever been brought to tears in frustration while learning? Or have you ever felt so inspired by one of your mentors that you can still hear their advice in your head to this day? We spoke to Carolyn Cardinet a little while back and because this delightfully French born artist has so much passion and enthusiasm for her craft, I thought I’d glean a bit more from her about how teachers or mentors have played a big role in her artistic life:

I will always be grateful to the mentors that crossed my path and have grounded my practice. They inspired me to push forward in becoming an artist and a teacher, which in turn led me to work with the broader community.

Madame Turmerin (Methode Martenaux) was my first real art teacher I would go to after school when I was 12 years old in Paris.  She introduced me to the unctuosity and sexiness of oil paint! Back in Melbourne, artist Peter Churcher taught me the art of mixing and applying oil colours to achieve the tones and hues of the great masters paintings I had discovered in my youth.


One day after an unsuccessful class, feeling deeply frustrated in not being  able to paint the model, I walked out. Peter made me realise then and there that I was determined and passionate about art. He said: ‘These tears are good tears, they are tears of frustration and they will carry you through your journey as an artist.’

Paul Borg’s classes at Victoria University of Technology (now Victoria University) brought us all back to basics and repeated many times to mostly spend 80% of your time looking and 20% painting. Anthony Ricardi made our Art History classes vibrant with facts and anecdotes. I remember seeing him researching the movements and artists he would later inspire us with. He was a great speaker and mentor that I looked up too and still do.


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