Dawn Csutoros is a brilliant compelling artist, and an equally brilliant teacher.
All Dawn’s students benefit from an approach to teaching that is refreshingly ego free, and encourages the exploration of personal style and ambitions.
Each of us is gently guided by Dawn’s vast knowledge, her absolute commitment to our improvement and an innate understanding of people.
Indeed, Dawn’s understanding of the dynamic interplay between the creative process and mindfulness, has enabled each of her students to manage the pesky inner critic, and embrace the braveheart.
As a result, Dawn’s students find the artist within and flourish, producing works which are very individualized and display growing confidence, courage and accomplishment.
From my perspective, Dawn has opened up a rich field of possibilities and enabled me to rediscover my passion and sense of abandonment to the experience of painting.
Moreover, I now paint with sustained enthusiasm, a deep sense of connection and increasing technical proficiency. A truly immersive and enjoyable experience. Thanks Dawn. Muffy Hand 2021 Artist.
Dawn’s art classes are very much about process and about flow, and tapping into a sense of representing and understanding forms through tone, mark making, line, emotion. Releasing some of the negative chatter and voices to calm us down, and supporting us to get into that flow to tap into the deeper well of creativity.
And, how does she do this? Journalling, free writing to get into the mind and move to a calmer state of flow. Sometimes we do a bit of movement to loosen up and release any tensions or blockages.
Then we do other exercises which are also informing our developing of skills in the representation of objects – seeing them, not seeing them, lines, tones, understanding tonal values, understanding colour and how to express different subjects, how to present them through a range of media, even combining media, so….there are no rules. And its is really about learning to find your own authenticity as a creative person who can then develop your own style.
So the environment is very much nurturing and supportive. And, with a structure however that supports the development of the skills in representating a huge variety of topics. It’s a balance of teaching exercises and then free work. You begin to notice more and have an appreciation for the world that we inhabit. Kate Morton 2021
I have been working with Dawn for the past 6 months through mentoring sessions because I needed someone to help move me forward in my creative practice. Dawn has helped me to stretch myself, play, and get more integrated between my art and who I am. She works in a holistic manner which I really appreciate. When I started, I found I compartmentalised anad separated my art with the rest of my life and she has really encouraged me to rethink this.
I feel like she really thinks about and prepares for each session, pointing the way to other artists, reading quotes, and sharing concepts. Dawn challenges me and holds me accountable to keep going. She sets me “homework” or tasks and thoughts to work on and investigate which I have found really helpful.
I thought I would have a couple of sessions with her but 6 months on I am finding her indispensable. Jess 2021
I have enjoyed the workshops I have attended run by Dawn. I revel in her original ideas which she presents to the class. The atmosphere in the room on zoom, or in reality, is one of discovery, and excitement, created by Dawn and her ideas on which I thrive. I can highly recommend her sessions. Judith D Harley, 2020
Dawn’s teaching style is nurturing and encouraging, suitable for those wanting to explore their artistic capabilities through painting and drawing and to build confidence. As well as practical learning about media, techniques, art appreciation etc, Dawn inspires her students to think holistically about the spiritual journey of the artist at work. Glenyys, 2020
Dawn, I do thank you for the time you have spent with our group. We could not have had a better tutor. You created such a marvelous atmosphere, with challenges, constructive comments, and stimulating exercises that extended our vision and our knowledge. Many thanks. Cheers, Bev Cox, 2016
Dawn, I will miss your workshops and your encouragement while you are away. You are an excellent teacher. Kathryn Leong, 2016
Dear Dawn, I wanted to just keep in touch because your teaching has had, and is having a strong positive influence on my life and it’s a great opportunity to say thanks. There are lots of things. I have become a better person. So,many thanks. Best Gary, 2015
Hi Dawn, Thanks so much for being part of the forum on Saturday. It was really lovely to hear the participants in your workshop raving about the session.
Alia Gabres, Creative Producer, Footscray Community Arts Centre, 2015
I really enjoyed the opportunity for sessions with such an amazing and generous artist. Claire, 2015
Thanks Dawn for the wonderful art classes. Your teaching was inspiring, gentle and most of all I valued the mindful approach you brought to each session. I was surprised at the progress I made in such a short time and felt that you really encouraged us all to connect more deeply with our creative abilities. The sessions were very freeing and I hope I will have the opportunity to attend more of your courses in the future. Thanks again! Charlotte 2014
I have completed 3 terms over 2 years with Dawn and thoroughly enjoyed all the classes and levels. Having not painted much since school art many years ago, I wasn’t sure what to expect of myself or the classes. But Dawn’s teaching was fantastic for increasing confidence, learning some basic skills, and bringing awareness to the creative process and finding ways of nurturing your own personal creativity. The classes were varied with discussion, exercises and individual projects. The group atmosphere was really friendly and supportive and the Richmond venue terrific. I would recommend “Recovering Your Creative Spirit” to anyone thinking about doing just that … recovering a sense of creative energy both for your art and life! Hannah Lewi, 2011
In the last three years I have attended several of Dawn’s courses ranging from an Introduction to Painting and Drawing through to Level Two of Recovering the Creative Spirit. When taking on a course I want to be engaged as a whole person. That is to say, I want to go away from a session, not just with more knowledge (though I do expect that) nor even more skills (vital of course in any art course), but I want to go away at least a little different as a person. I find all of these needs met beautifully in Dawn’s teaching. This is particularly the case in the Recovering the Creative Spirit courses, but it was evident to me even in the introductory course. Dawn treats each person as an artist. Thus she provides constant and genuine encouragement, constructive criticism and advice about each work in progress in a way that takes into consideration the needs of each person.
I believe, too, there is a beautiful balance among general instruction, actually painting or drawing with guidance, and processes to facilitate reflection and interaction. All of these I believe encourage us as participants to move beyond the class to being an artist at home. This has certainly happened for me. Testament to that is not only the development in the work I have done but also the fact that I felt confident enough to arrange an exhibition. The Recovering the Creative Spirit sessions warrant a special word: here there is more focus on reflection as part of the art process and indeed art as part of the life process. Personally I have found these particular courses enormously beneficial for my whole life including my art. Fran Sheehan 2011
I was surprised at the way we progressed from day one. We all felt so much more confident because of Dawn’s ability to make you work in stages without realizing they were stepping stones to the next stage – great teacher. Mooky Bialylew 2010
Dawn creates a supportive environment for learning and experimenting. Nice balance of activities, inspiring. Jane 2010
We all felt so much more confident because of her ability to make you work in stages without realizing they were stepping stones to the next stage – a great teacher! Susan 2010
I liked the ease with which Dawn took us from frightened to prepared to try out extremes. Vanessa 2010
My new year resolution in 2008 was to learn to draw. After years of working on a PhD and focusing on work I decided I needed to develop a different part of myself. Its not easy to branch into unfamiliar areas. Whilst I have always loved looking at art and nature, I had no idea how to start drawing what I saw. Dawn has been fantastic at enabling me to gain confidence to do this. She teaches skills as well as providing encouragement, and pushes me out of my comfort zone to improve what I do.
I think Dawn has changed my belief that being able to draw and paint was purely dependant on innate ability and she has shown me that skills can be learnt. My longterm goal is to use the skills of drawing and painting to express what I think and feel and I am sure Dawn will be a support for me on that path too. Dawn demonstrates the importance of teaching as a basis for individual change. Amanda Scott, 2009
After some years of struggling to get back into painting l decided to try Dawn’s classes. The results for me were highly successful. Dawn takes a wholistic approach to address the road blocks and concerns experienced by the typical student and provide strategies to reinvigorate and inspire the artist within. Highly recommended, thoroughly enjoyable and a small journey in the art world. Tony Corrigan, 2009
I have been developing my life drawing skills under the guidance of Dawn and her classes since early 2008 and have found it to be a very rewarding experience. Dawn is sensitive to both the stylistic strengths of the individual and the overall temperament of the class. She continually provides constructive criticism to push one’s boundaries but also values group discussion for the exchange of ideas and information.
Dawn’s classes have combined an education on traditional drawing techniques and self experimentation. This has allowed me to improve my technical understanding of drawing a figure but also be confident in expressing myself and my changing creative interests through the work.
I would highly recommend anyone to become a part of Dawn’s classes in order to develop a high and professional standard of creative skills. Nicole Mechkarof, 2009
As a relative beginner to Life Drawing, I found Dawn to be an excellent teacher, guide and support throughout the course. Her enthusiasm and ability to communicate this enthusiasm to the whole class is inspirational and I finished the course feeling much more confident about my drawing ability. Dawn will always encourage you to move out of your comfort zone and push yourself into new techniques, styles, and in doing so, you find your overall ability improving at a rapid rate. Her classes are a lively engagement between her and the members of the class which results in a great learning environment. Her classes are never dull! Nigel Peckham, 2009
I have personally attended Dawn’s class as a student, as well as from an assessment viewpoint. Dawn provides her students with a mix of demonstration, explanation, warm up sessions and direct techniques to assist with right brain development. Discussion and personal critique of work are encouraged, but always done in a gentle, honest and supportive manner. Dawn provides focus and direction for her classes, and ensures that the group always moves forward. Much thought is put in to subjects for each session whether it be life drawing, still life or outdoor exercises. Dawn has a lovely, warm inclusive style that encourages students to participate fully in the class, without fear of ridicule or failure.
She is an inspiring person who gives generously of her time not only in teaching art, but also in a wider context of community projects. She has had a huge impact on the Tasmanian community with her Tree Hugs project, her work as a resident artist with the aged care community, and her work with schools and colleges through the Department of Education Artist in Residence Program. Dawn achieves all this while still progressing her own work and participating in national and overseas exhibitions. Sonya Moon, Program Coordinator, Adult Education, Hobart, 2008