About Us

Tonkinson Art Masters

Tonkinson Art Masters - School of Oil Painting

About Us

TAM Art School started from the very same day that Leone graduated from The Pretoria High School of Art, Music and ballet.

Leone set up a studio at home before she even started her career studying Industrial Architecture. She gathered experience in Town Planning, CAD, and interior design with some of the Top Architect, Town Planners and Interior designers working for the South African Parliament, at the time. Outside working hours Leone was commissioned for 163 oil painting portraits of Government Heads.

She worked several part-time jobs to pay for her studies and even managed to save enough to travel abroad to visit her beloved Old Masters in Europe.

At 30 years of age Leone married and while pregnant with her first child, she finally decided it was time to end a 13-year career in architecture to pursue her passion of becoming a full-time artist.

She set up a studio in Silverton, Pretoria namely “Autumn Shades”. Here she offered weekly workshops in drawing mediums and oil painting techniques.

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Expert Teacher

Leone also returned to her art studies by enrolling at UNISA for her Bachelor in Fine Arts and by the time of the birth of her second child Leone was working as a BA Fine Art Lecturer at CAUSE Academy. Here she also went on to study Business Development and Entrepreneurship.

However, at this time Leones’ husband accepted a transfer to the coastal town of Port Elizabeth where she registered Tonkinson CC. and opened an oil painting studio to the public. Leone was living her dream, she attended art events, accepting commissions, became a member of the Eastern Province Society of Art and Culture.

All the while, running oil painting courses from home. Until one day she found two sponsors. In Port Elizabeth Leone went on to establish and manage The Port Elizabeth School of Fine art as Art Master.

In an attempt to gain accreditation for her curriculum at the port Elizabeth School of Fine Art. In 2006 Leone approached The Nelson Mandela University for accreditation. She received a sponsorship to study her abroad and during her sabbatical in the Netherlands Leone fell in love with the Dutch people and their culture. Leone decided to make the Netherlands her home. Here she built up a more contemporary Art School namely, Tonkinson Art Masters, fondly known as TAM. Here, Leone introduces all levels of artists.

As a South Africa artist my focus was on developing and teaching an eclectic compilation of oil painting techniques. Mixing colors just came easily.

However, since my travels through out Europe, I have been fascinated by the light here. The light in Spain is different from the light in the Netherlands, the UK, and that of the light in Ireland. Each uniquely effects color in its own right and each uniquely beautiful.

Living in Europe I have live access to the profound works of the Masters that came before me, including regular exhibits of our Dutch contemporary artists that has evolved from the Baroque to Realism.

These Dutch Masters were greatly influenced by the European light, and they used amazing detail with bright and sharp-focus techniques that I have spent years trying to master.

What is your influence as an Art Teacher?

..giving Artists the right tools to do an amazing job.

It is important that each and every Artist have the basic fundamentals of art making, learn how to mix colors perfectly every time, master oil painting techniques that suit their skills and get the right tool which suit their personal style of painting.

I feel that my task is simple. I help each Artists with tailored knowledge and the perfect tools. Once mastered, their confident grows, which in turn allows them to focus more on their own creative energy.

During the course of my TAM workshops, the sheer physical transformation of Artists gives me a warm fuzzy feeling as they start to glow with excitement and tap into their own creativity.

Each Artists progresses at their own pace and with each completed painting comes a wealth of understanding. It is this gained knowledge that carries through into the succession of paintings. As an Artist become aware of this growth they begin to recognize, admire and celebrate each success.

I look forward to meeting you in person

Let’s work together to help you discover the artist in you.