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Painting a picture of empowerment

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Painting a picture of empowerment

words TODD KUCHEL
PHOTOGRAPHY JOHN KRÜGER
>> >> Lee Teusner pictured with just some of her pieces of art.

We are Divas, Warriors, Mothers, Magicians and Lovers.

We are unique and we are the same.

We all laugh, cry, love and we have wins as well as regrets. We all play up a bit now and then and we all need time to rest.

Yet, until we can accept and acknowledge all that we are, and our place in the world, can we be at peace?

Private art tutoring by a talented, compassionate yet deaf art mentor as a teenager opened the world of creativity to Barossa artist, Lee Teusner.

A firm friendship was formed over a span of several years as Lee was taught the fundamentals of drawing and painting through different mediums and styles.

“Roger not only taught me how to draw, he also taught me how to really see things, not just look,” Lee explains.

A few years, a husband and three awesome kids later, Lee discovered a local artist offering workshops.

Meeting a new teacher and mentor, Jacqueline Coates gave Lee renewed excitement for her artistic life and the beginning of a new direction.

“One of the greatest lessons I learned from her was to believe that anything is possible!” says Lee.

“My mentors have given me confidence. I’m incredibly grateful for the time that I have had to learn from them both.”

Lee also had the privilege of being trained to teach Jacqueline’s Blooms Painting Method, which has enabled her to independently offer painting workshops.

Lee has since added her own style of teaching to her art practice, giving students a chance to connect with their creative energy in a relaxing, fun learning environment and achieve a beautiful piece of feminine artwork that reflects their inner Diva or Goddess.

Lee is inspired by exploring the realm of the feminine and working to reveal the many faces of a woman, from exotic to mysterious, romantic to abundant and beautiful.

Lee’s Learn to Paint Divas concept has an empowering message which has set in motion the unravelling of adventures such as exhibiting and teaching locally, interstate and to New Zealand over the past 10 years.

Through her artwork and her workshops Lee empowers people to adopt a Diva state of mind, which is all about self-acceptance and belief.

“I paint, I teach others to paint, but it’s bigger than that, Lee explains.

“It’s learning to let go, surrender and trust the process, lose perfection, find yourself. Embrace all that you are. Be inspired, be a risk taker and accountable.

“Be free from excuses, giving up or negative self-talk. Make art, your way, knowing it is the right way!”

Even Lee finds the experience of attending classes of others stimulating. Forever learning new things from and being inspired by others helps progression after all.

“No-one is born knowing what to do, we all start there,” Lee reflects.

“We all need to be shown some technique and learn the ropes.

“It’s a matter of simply stop making excuses and just start.

“Find someone to teach you, to inspire and nurture your early attempts who won’t judge but gently guide. It’s all part of growing as an artist.”

This is what Lee’s art journey has taught her.

“The Barossa is dear to me and my experiences have helped me understand that at a deep level. This is my community, and I’m excited to be a part of what is happening in the art scene here.”

- LEE TEUSNER

In 2002, Lee’s art work took on a practical sense when assisting her brother, Kym of Teusner Wines in developing the original logo and branding for Teusner Wines.

Lee’s beautiful images now also adorn a number of the Teusner Wine labels.

One example is the Teusner SALSA Rose, for which Kym desired a label that would invoke a sense of seduction.

Thus, Lee created six images of a Salsa dancer in different poses so that when a buyer opens the box they experience the complexity of a salsa dance sequence – one pose for each bottle.

In February, Lee was invited to be a feature artist on the popular art documentary, ‘Put Some Colour in Your Life’ hosted by Graeme Stevenson, which airs in over fifty countries.

“He loved the concept of my work,” Lee beams. “It was an exciting new experience. It’s cool to connect with people from all over the world who are interested in my artwork and who resonate with the message.”

Lee’s journey has, however, taught her that the Barossa is where she belongs.

“It’s dear to me and my experiences have helped me understand that at a deep level,” Lee said.

“This is my community, and I’m excited to be a part of what is happening in the art scene here.”

In addition to contributing locally, Lee intends on taking her Learn to Paint Divas workshop on the road again once things settle down and it’s safe to do so.

Of course, online opportunities exist that will be a focus in the near future.

“I simply have to do what I love,” Lee says.  “Lead by example and follow my feet.”

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