Finding Mentors

by | Mar 22, 2023

One of the best experiences I have ever had at an art workshop was a one-week session with Brian Atyeo. 

In the early 2000’s he was living in Nova Scotia and led a number of painting workshops in the Maritimes. I liked his approach so much that I enrolled in at least two of his workshops, one in Murray Harbour, PEI and one in the Glen Margaret area on the eastern shore of NS.

I think at the time I was concentrating on getting more deeply into art making. I had joined a couple of art associations, taken a slew of short workshops from a number of artists, attended life drawing and peer art afternoons. But after a couple of years, I got more discerning. I had reached the point where I only searched out artists I admired and hoped to glean some wisdom from. You know, the ones who you click with, who turn on ‘the light’, who make an impact on how you approach your work.

Enter Brian Atyeo. He had a work history as an architectural illustrator and extensive teaching experience with watercolour and acrylic painting. He was so good at demonstrating process, explaining design decisions and showing you how to fearlessly paint over and start again. I valued the feedback on whatever I was working on. He asked questions that made me think and helped me to see different alternatives to solving a problem.

One of the books he recommended was ‘Painting People in Watercolor, A Design Approach’ by Alex Powers. Take a look! And check out the amazing Brian Atyeo. At the time I took his workshops, he was working on his jazz musician series. As you can see from this link, he has a extensive range of subject matter.

Brian M. Atyeo (1950 –)

May you find someone who inspires you.