Russell Danby – Chinese brush painting


Russell Danby is a local artist who, upon retirement, decided to join our U3A to “access community.” He is also an adventurer as he “jumped in at the deep end” by volunteering to tutor a new art class – Chinese Brush Painting.

It seems that he’s well-qualified for this role as, he says, he has been an artist for most of his life and has experienced painting a range of art, from “huge murals to tiny illustrations.” Russell learnt about Chinese brush painting “at a Meditation Class in Carlton 40 years ago” and subsequently also in China, where he travelled and studied painted brush artworks.

So what does this class involve? It is a one term class which provides participants with skills in the use of Chinese bamboo brushes which aren’t held in the traditional Western ‘pencil grip’, but in a more meditative vertical style. Bamboo, rocks and waterfalls will feature in students’ artwork and Russell is hoping that each participant will find enjoyment in their own “voyage of discovery.

Russell says that he enjoys “seeing other people ‘blossom’ and find their creative self and confidence” so tutoring for him is a way to share his knowledge and skills whilst also gaining from his students’ achievements.

Russell’s is the fourth art course now offered by Nillumbik U3A (Hurstbridge and Eltham Art classes as well as Zentangles and now Chinese Brush Painting). What a great range of choices for our creative and artist community.