Franco Arcidiacono

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Artist Annie Yang

Franco was born in Sicily and at the age of five emigrated to Australia. In his teenage years, he dabbled with various mediums, mainly pencil, charcoal and water colours, encouraged by his mother Antonina. However, it wasn’t until 2007, whilst on long-service leave after 30 years teaching at Stanthorpe State High School, that he rediscovered his passion for painting; his wife Morwenna suggesting that it might help him to relax, as they travelled around Australia – and so it did.

With his interest in exploring other mediums aroused and inspired by the colours of the Pilbara and the Centre, he enrolled in the 2010 McGregor Summer School, Pastels for Beginners Workshop with PSA Master Pastellist – Karol Oakley. As an active and keen football coach, he has always understood the importance of ‘going back to basics’ and ‘knowing the fundamentals’ and in Karol he found an excellent teacher and mentor. Eager to put into practice his new found knowledge of the pastel medium and to develop a personal style, he set about investigating the works of Maxwell Wilks, Aubrey Phillips, Rosalie Nadeau and Alan Oliver through books and DVDs.

In January 2012, he entered his first-ever art competition conducted by the Stanthorpe Show Society and won first and second prize in the Pastels Section. He is looking forward to retiring so he can spend more time documenting his travels here and overseas in pastels and watercolour.

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