Tutor long in the brush
By EMMA CORNFORD
INTERNATIONALLY renowned watercolour artist Robert Wade stands at the front of the Grafton High classroom, the science benches filled with parchment and paint rather than bunsen burners and test tubes.
But he is not educating high school students. Mr Wade is taking a class of 12 for this year's Artsfest, and will be teaching his students about the importance of feelings and emotions in painting.
"It's not so much the physical act of painting that I will be teaching, but how to think ... and relate that to their work," he said yesterday.
"We're interpreters of the landscape, and understanding your subject is a very emotive thing. Australian men are, by and large, very macho but it's ok to show your emotions and use them in paintings."
Mr Wade is no stranger to teaching his craft. He has taught all over the world, from Morocco and India to the US. This is his second year as a Grafton Artsfest tutor.
"I'm at the age where I am thinking about giving this away and I wasn't going to be teaching, but last year I found myself up here. It's a great show to be a part of," he said.
"I love coming up here and I'm only too happy to be a tutor."
Mr Wade, who has an Order of Australia and lives in Malvern in Victoria, has just been selected to exhibit at the prestigious 139th annual exhibition of the American Watercolour Society in New York.
He will also be patron of Artsfest ? a position he was happy to take up when asked by Artsfest co-ordinator Fay Boyd.
"It's a wonderful thing that Fay has done for the community, to bring the arts to the community. It brings an influx of people and money to the area as well."