Meet the Team

Meet the Team

Marcel Desbiens, Director / Principal Tutor and Master Artist

Marcel founded Brisbane Painting Classes in 2005, after discovering considerable interest in his unique oil painting methods, developed through decades of study of the techniques of the Old Masters, such as Caravaggio, Rubens and Rembrandt.

Marcel’s belief that anyone can paint, given appropriate instructions on the right tools, skills and techniques, led him to develop a series of classes in oil painting, from the foundations for absolute beginners, through to advanced techniques for those wanted to extend their skills and experience.

Over the years, these oil painting classes grew and Brisbane Painting Classes expanded to include an increasing variety of classes in different mediums, with an increasing number of award-winning artists delivering classes and workshops at the studio.

Marcel’s passion for painting and his enormous in-depth knowledge for the medium of oil are clearly visible in his teaching and ongoing dedication to his own art.

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Yasmin Bergamini, Director / Customer Service Manager

As Marcel’s partner in life and in business, Yasmin has played an equal part in building Brisbane Painting Classes into what it is today. As the studio grew, Yasmin’s involvement also grew – from part-time support for all of the non-teaching aspects of the business, to becoming the full-time Customer Service Manager.

From her career in childcare and early childhood education, Yasmin has brought with her a wealth of skills and experience (and a great deal of patience!), which have perfectly equipped her to manage the customer service side of the business. With a role that ranges from helping students to find the right class for them and ensuring everything is on hand for a satisfying experience, through to sourcing award-winning local, interstate and international artists to share their knowledge and skills and coming up with new ideas for classes, workshops and seminars to meet student needs, Yasmin makes sure that all of our students, tutors and guest artists are cared for like family.

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Ai Shah, Foundation in Oils Tutor

Ai Shah’s stunning oil paintings of nature – most often featuring water – offer viewers a feeling of depth, calm and serenity…. much like Ai herself.

After growing up in Japan, Ai arrived in Australia in 2005. As a complete novice in oil painting, Ai attended Marcel Desbiens' classes, hoping to learn the fundamental techniques and theory of this art medium. Not only did Ai learn the fundamentals, she soon found her own style and has developed a reputation for her exceptional painting skills and compositions.

In 2010, Ai won the coveted Lethbridge 10 000 Art Award with a small-scale water study. She has had numerous solo exhibitions of her work in Brisbane, as well as exhibiting at the Sydney and Melbourne art fairs.

Ai now also shares her knowledge and great love of painting with students as part of the Brisbane Painting Classes core team.

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Jess Olding, Studio and Events Manager

Former student of Marcel’s and Lethbridge 10,000 finalist, Jess is passionate about all things painting. After graduating from her BA in Art History from the University of Queensland in the middle 2017, Jess joined the Brisbane Painting Classes team part-time to develop and implement essential business systems to support the growth of the studio.

Before studying, Jess worked as a Business Development Manager for the Architectural supplies industry. In her role as Studio and Events Manager, Jess' combines her love of business and art and is responsible for the day to day operations – working behind the scenes to make sure everything runs smoothly. She is also responsible for coordinating the logistics behind the ever-growing range of world-class courses and workshops available at the studio.

Jess' passion for art and her own skills as an artist led her to develop the studio’s ‘Relax with Watercolour’ events, which she now runs every month.

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