Painting Class & Workshop Reviews


“I’ve had a passion for art my whole life and had lessons with various teachers over that time. But I have never been as inspired as I am now with Cathy Van Ee. I learnt more from her in my first lesson than I had in the last 20 years. I’m finally excited about not just painting with pastels, but learning about colour, value, composition and the things that will turn me from being good at art to being an artist. My growth with her as my teacher has been phenomenal and I’m only into my 2nd term with her. Can’t wait to see what I’ll be like this time next year!”

Cathy Wilson

“I’ve attended Cathy’s Pastel Landscape and Oil Portrait classes for 2 years. She is a remarkable tutor, inspiring and guiding her students with well prepared, structured classes. She gives fabulous demonstrations regularly and is very generous in imparting her knowledge. It’s obvious she’s passionate about teaching.”
Monique Morey

“I have been a member of M.M.A.G. (Mentone Mordialloc Art Group) since the nineties. Had around a Dozen teachers over time. I can say with authority that Cathy has been the most “Inspirational” teacher I have ever had. As a master of portraits she has developed my own skills in this area. To have a bit of her expertise rub off on me has given me the confidence in painting my own portraits.”
Elizabeth A.Smith

“As a student of Cathy, I can highly recommend her as a teacher. She puts so much into providing classes that are inspiring, as she shares her wealth of knowledge on every aspect of art, from composition and design, colour theory, perspective, technique, and processes, to name but a few, as well as providing notes on each topic. She also encourages you to think and become more creative in your journey to becoming a better artist! Not only is she an extraordinary, award winning artist herself, she is an extraordinary teacher and it is a privilege to be in her class!”
Dawn Pearce

“Thank you so much for the wonderful workshopping experience on Saturday.  I thoroughly enjoyed the whole day and found the verbal tuition as well as the painting exercises to be equally enjoyable.   I really enjoy the way you teach and I certainly feel your passion for painting fills me with inspiration.  During the Covid pandemic I lost a lot of confidence and energy for painting, but this year – and especially with the arrival of springtime – I am reinventing my enthusiasm for art.  Saturday was exactly what I needed to spur me onwards and it was wonderful to be using oils again.  Your encouragement to “conquer my doubts as though talking to a friend” made a lot of sense, as well as your advice to be true to personal interpretation and trusting our individual intuition to make honest choices. 
The information you shared concerning the colour palette was so valuable – forming a bias colour for portraits through leaving a trial in mixing, paying attention to rhythms of warm and cool skin tones – watching for the blood supply of warm skin and the effect of hair tones to shade the skin, utilizing cerulean blue, yellow ochre, alizarin crimson and cad yellow deep to create fantastic additions to a naples yellow starting point – as well as learning the hint that a flash will flatten the photograph of a model. 

I was reminded that the psychology of painting a portrait is an important factor – a relaxation, or a contest, or perhaps just pure emotion?  Then there was the “singing” vividness in the hierarchy of chroma and lightness through paint, as well as the idea of “kissing and caressing the edges”! 

I was fascinated to hear your explanations of form, tone, perspective – and your advice to choose our own “style” and technique, in order to paint with our own signature. 

Also, your gems of information concerning cleaning and choice of brushes, as well as wise choices with medium and recommended ways of measurement in portraiture….. all hints for me to put into good practice.”

Sara Elizabeth

“Hero Points, Perspective, Tone, Texture and How to use the colour wheel. These are just a few aspects Cathy teaches to expand her students knowledge and help us make our pastels come alive. Cathy’s patience, experience and enthusiasm are a catalyst for the student wanting to grow. We are kept engaged and enthused with her weekly emails on top of class work. An engaged and inspiring teacher.”
Maryanne Mac Phee

“Cathy van Ee is a fabulous artist and a wonderful teacher. She teaches both oil and pastel painting and excels in both art forms. I have been learning oil painting from Cathy for a couple of years now and have been so impressed with her inclusiveness and the way she shares her knowledge so willingly. She is always so generous with her time and has an amazing eye for detail. It is this eye for detail that makes the difference between a good portrait and a great portrait or a good landscape and a great landscape. Cathy’s advice is always much appreciated and her expertise greatly valued. Each week Cathy sends out comprehensive notes to at encapsulate everything she has been discussing during her class. These notes cover a broad range of topics and are valuable resource. I have collected all the notes Cathy has sent out and frequently refer back to them. I couldn’t recommend Cathy more highly.”
Gillian Adams

“I have been a student of Cathy’s Pastel landscape class for a few years now, and each week there is always something new to learn, or techniques to try, in a relaxed atmosphere of friendship and fun. With Cathy’s brilliant teaching skills, she has encouraged us to explore colour and to make our paintings ‘sing’, and always with patience and encouragement. Each class is followed up with an email from Cathy with details and photos of what has been done every week. I would recommend a class with Cathy to anyone who wants to learn more about pastel painting and techniques and surprise yourself with what you will learn to do.”
Marlene Onesti

“Cathy’s classes are fun. She is unfailingly enthusiastic, encouraging and informative. I have learnt so much about composition, perspective, tone, vibrancy and colour. The classes are always inclusive, and I leave them feeling energised to keep trying for that ‘successful’ painting! An excellent teacher.”
Elspeth Freeman

“Cathy Van Ee’s Pastel class has been a great find. Cathy is a talented artist and a generous and natural teacher. Prior to joining Cathy’s class I couldn’t always see how to fix what looked wrong and was losing confidence. Cathy has a wonderful skill of spotting mistakes and simplifying the problem. With a few quick suggestions she has me back on track and feeling very happy about it. I learn so much from each class and have more ideas than time to put it into practice. Each class has a short but focused presentation on an aspect of art (such as honing our sketching skills by focusing on perspective, composition, colour theory and much more) often a mini demonstration and always one on one advice. The class has a friendly and fun atmosphere and everyone is made to feel welcome. I leave each class inspired and looking forward to squirrelling away some time to apply the newly learned skills. Thanks heaps Cathy.”
Angela Robinson

“Cathy Van Ee is a highly professional teacher who is generous with her knowledge and time. Cathy teaches many secrets and tools for creating a professional painting including composition, importance of tone and colour and mark making all needed to make an interesting painting which a beginner can achieve very quickly. Cathy also sends out emails full of helpful tips and photos of demonstrations every week and I now have a fabulous digital folder of many examples of different scenes and techniques that we have faced in class. I would highly recommend Cathy for a grounding in classic and realistic art.”
Kate Carrillo

“As a total newcomer to portrait painting, Cathy has opened my eyes to seeing things I have never before considered and taken me patiently through demonstrated steps of drawing, colour mixing, composition and painting. She expertly combines theory and assisted practice to help me achieve results I could not have imagined. She has the knowledge, experience and ability to impart them to her students. Her work in pastels and oils is inspirational.”
Bill Goeman

“Cathy Van Ee is an artist, an art teacher who is a continual learner, a researcher and a mentor in the artistic process. Cathy has a unique ability of seeing each student as a creative individual and is eager to impart “the How” (practical, experiential) and “the Why” (the theory) of this artistic process in a sensitive manner easy to assimilate. Thus, as students we embrace this learning, inspiration and often needed rejuvenation and in so doing are given the gift of understanding how art is related to the world around us, ourselves and what it is, and how it is, that we wish to express our art, thereby finding our own unique creative voice. With thanks”
Pamela Frost

“Cathy Van Ee possesses the rare skill of revealing and making comprehensible the underlying techniques and structure that makes an art work accessible to a wide audience. Cathy also enables each student under her tutelage to gradually develop and refine their own unique style.”
Darren Brookes

“I have been a student of Cathy Van Ee for a number of years, I find her teaching very thorough. She goes through the subject with you in detail, I learned so much about colour mixing and composition with Cathy.”
Linda James

“I really like the way Cathy explains in her classes how to use colour to gain maximum impact in your pastels – she makes colour easy to understand. She is an encouraging, generous artist and tutor and explains in detail what she is doing in her demonstrations, so that you can understand her creative processes. She shares her knowledge in such an inspiring way and her classes are structured and professional yet friendly and intimate and, above all, very enjoyable.”
Tina Whiteley

“Cathy is an exceptionally skilled and gifted teacher. She motivates each individual brilliantly, whether they be new, intermediate or an advanced painter. She makes theory and technique exciting! Cathy challenges each student to express their own unique creativity in a warm and caring way.”
Annie – lifetime student of art and life

“I would like to thank you for fitting me into your class this term. I felt I had plateaued in my art after ten years; your fresh approach to teaching has given me back my inspiration.”
Joy Pyle

“Cathy’s enthusiastic teaching is thorough and empowering. She includes well prepared media, visual clips and demonstrations for enrichment and education. Another highly relevant method is circulating to each students easel holding class work so that individuals can be tutored according to progress or questions arising….(appropriately).”
Sandi Steward