Byron Bay art student Nell Pearson with the multi-award winning HSC entry which won her a 12-month scholarship at a prominent S
Byron Bay art student Nell Pearson with the multi-award winning HSC entry which won her a 12-month scholarship at a prominent S

Byron High student wins art scholarship

By AMANDA SPROULE news@northernstar.com.au

WHAT began as nine portraits soon turned into a scholarship to a prestigious Sydney art school and plenty of art supplies for 19-year-old Nell Pearson.

The Byron Bay High School student completed the portraits of ‘people close to her’ for the HSC last year, and received two of four awards on offer at the Art Express opening in Sydney on February 4.

Nell attended the opening completely unaware she would receive a one-year scholarship to the Julian Ashton Art School and $250 worth of art supplies.

“I was incredibly surprised. I didn’t know about the awards until I got there. Getting into Art Express was amazing, and I couldn’t even imagine winning these awards too,” Nell said.

“A lady at the opening night told me she had been going to the opening and awards night for 15 years, and she hadn’t seen anyone win more than one award.”

Nell’s watercolour works were based on the transition between adolescence and adulthood.

“I wanted to capture the vulnerability of that age, a moment of emotion and the character of each person,” she said.

With her art teacher giving her ‘a lot of freedom’, Nell completed most of her artwork at home, with her mum being her biggest critic.

“My mum is an artist, so I’d ask her if my worked looked al right, because she would tell me if it was good or bad,” Nell laughed.

Nell plans to defer her scholarship for a year while she travels Europe and America learning more about art.

“I got a lot of sketch and watercolour books with my art supply voucher, along with some inks and paintbrushes. I’m taking these and my watercolours with me to Europe,” she said.

In the meantime, Nell is busy completing ‘a lot’ of commission portraits to pay for her trip overseas. “I’ve got a waiting list, mostly people wanting me to paint portraits of their children,” she said.



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