Visual Arts – Creative Catalyst program

Aeon Academy’s Creative Catalyst program is renowned for it’s inspiring & engaging Artist-led workshops. Children & Teens, aged 7 – 16, have the chance to immerse themselves in the wide world of Visual Arts where they can unleash their creativity! They’ll spend a day creating their very own masterpiece, learning new skills and bringing their designs to life.

They’ll learn a range of ways to transform their ideas into reality, and everyone gets the opportunity to create at their own pace. The program encourages students to take the time they need to finish an artwork while exploring the process and journey of making.

Creative Catalyst champions Picasso’s famous words: “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up”. Our dedicated team of art educators , led by Aeon Academy Founder & Art Director Teffany Thiedeman, all graduated from the Canberra School of Art & Design and bring their specialised skills to each of the different workshops. Children & Teens can choose between a suite of exciting workshops across a range of mediums including Ceramics, Mixed Media, Sculpture, Painting & Drawing.

Choose your next Art Adventure…

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Creative Catalyst – Autumn Holiday Program

Week 1

June, 28th Monday

Winter oils- Oil Painting

Winter, the season of short days and long nights. Here in Canberra we really get to taste the bite of winter cold and use it as inspiration for our oil painting workshop Although winter brings its own pleasures it has always traditionally been a time of introspection and quiet thought as people try to keep warm and eat food they have stored away after Autumn harvests. Spend the day keeping warm and developing your oil painting skills with artist and painter Lauren Van Der Hoek.

Paul Cézanne, Chestnut Trees at Jas de Bouffan ca 1885-86

June, 29th Tuesday

Marsupial Animalia- painting & drawing

Australia is home to many unique animals. We will be exploring those that fall into the classification of Marsupial- animals with pouches.  The rich diversity of Australia’s marsupial wildlife ranges from tiny hopping mice to fierce carnivores like the Tasmanian Devil.

Use pencil and graphite to express the form and fur of these wonderful animals.   

Led by artist and painter Lauren Van Der Hoek.                                                                                                                    

Gerard Krefft. The extinct south-eastern subspecies of a bilby c.1858-59.           


June, 30th Wednesday

Hearts & Skulls- ceramics

Take a close look at the brightly coloured and lively ceramics of Mexico. The sugar skulls and calaveras which so captivate popular imagination and feature in design ware from fabric to skateboards. They are famous for their presence during Dia de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead celebration.

Create an original clay skull sculpture, decorate and glaze it.

Work with artist and  ceramicist Teffany Thiedeman

                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Be inspired by Mexican ceramics

July, 1st Thursday

Keep on the Borderlands- ceramics

Design and construct your very own keep, a fortified stronghold on the borderland, a place to seek refuge from what lies beyond the walls. Do the walls curve round, or corners jut out on your towering structure, is the keep a stronghold in its own right or does it form part of a larger complex? These and many other questions can be answered on the day with a little reflection on the purpose and use of one’s keep. This ceramic workshop will encourage participants to perfect clay skills of forming and joining clay as the walls are built brick by brick or module by module.

All work will be painted with ceramic colourants and fired in a kiln.  Led by artist and ceramicist Teffany Thiedeman.                                                                                                                                         


Make a castle out of clay

July, 2nd Friday

Costume Crowns- Mixed Materials

 A fun day of costume making using felt, paper, recycled jewelry and more. Create a crown that expresses a fantasy character- a mermaid queen, a mountain elf king, a troll prince, a royal tree spirit. 

Work out a design to bring your crown to life; it could be dragons, dolphins, leaves and anything that takes your fancy. Use a range of materials and techniques to create your unique headpiece and maybe a sceptre to go with it!

Led by artist and painter Lauren Van Der Hoek.

A precious gold crown adorned with eagles. 


July, 5th Monday

Winter Candelabra-ceramics

Lighting a candle is an evocative part of many strong traditions. We light them for birthdays, religious festivals, special dinners and to create an ambience or a mood of celebration. A candelabrum is a purpose built candle holder to mark these occasions. Learn how to construct a hand built candle holder in a theme you wish to celebrate. Led by artist and ceramicist Isabelle Mackay-Sim

Exuberant Folk candelabra.                  

July, 6th Tuesday

Secret garden- ceramics

The Secret Garden is a special place of refuge and peace. Alive with plants and animals it is a haven to escape to.

In this workshop we will design and create our very own Secret Garden. What will yours contain?

A large tree? A bird bath? Small animals you can hand feed?

Using clay you will construct  a secret garden and then use glazes to bring it to life. All work will be fired in a kiln.

Led by artist and ceramicist Monica Castelo.

What’s in your Secret Garden?

July, 7th Wednesday

Optical illusions- painting and drawing

Sometimes what the eye sees the mind can not believe!

Try some mind bending optical illusions yourself during this day of drawing and painting.

Explore a range of optical illusions and look at the ways they trick your brain into seeing what is not actually there.

Can you create the illusion of movement on flat paper?

Make a booklet to collect your illusion secrets to take-away and test at home.Work together on creating a large optical illusion in the art studio. Led by Artist and painter Lauren van Der Hoek.

Bridget Riley, Movement in squares

July, 8th Thursday

Liquid landscapes- painting

The sky’s the limit in this painting workshop. Learn how to capture fleeting clouds, endless blues and hypnotic sunsets using different paints and techniques.

The fluidity of the watercolour medium is particularly suited to transient subjects like light moving across the landscape. Students will spend the morning sketching and painting in ‘plein air’ to capture a little of Yarralumla’s lakeside setting, then head inside for an afternoon of painting a landscape of their own design at their easels.

Led by artist and painter Ingrid Hunter

Georgia O’Keeffe, Black Mesa Landscape, New Mexico 1930

July, 9th Friday

Drawing & Painting

Steampunk is a subgenre of science fiction or science fantasy that incorporates technology and aesthetic designs inspired by 19th-century industrial steam-powered machinery.

It has been inspired by writers like Jules Verne (30000 Leagues Under the Sea) and HG Wells (War of the Worlds) and embraced by animators like Miyazaki (Howl’s Moving castle)

This workshop will get everyone drawing machinery both real and invented to and use monochromal watercolor washes for a finishing effect.It will be a day of mad inventing and imagination as we create our Steampunk world

                                                                                    Led by artist and painter Lauren Van der Hoek

A still from Howl’s Moving Castle by Miyazaki.