Mitch and Hanna Waite opened their first art school, Maison des Arts, in La Colle sur Loup, France, in August 2000. They expanded the business to include a gallery in Vence, Galerie Waite, in 2010. In december 2012 Mitch was diagnosed with brain cancer and passed away a year later. He had by that time over 25 years professional experience as an artist including 13 years as a teacher running painting courses and demonstrating painting techniques, notably for Chroma Atelier Interactive and the SAA. His work and videos can be seen on his website Mitch Waite and limited edition prints of his oil paintings are for sale at Galerie Waite.
Hanna is now continuing with the painting courses after having first thought it would not be possible without Mitch. However after so many years of painting and studying art alongside Mitch she is keen to carry on what they started together and to follow up on the unique teaching techniques and ideas that Mitch developed during his time as a teacher. Providing Mitch’s many followers with a chance to continue painting together with Hanna as their teacher drawing on her experience from working with Mitch.
Mitch’s philosophy was to strive to make an emotional connection to the subject and to express that as directly and honestly as he could, allowing the rhythm of the brushstrokes to create expression and mood. He did not work with formulas but would try to take each subject fresh as if it was the first time he painted it. An artist must have complete control and understand of the basic techniques such as focus, composition, tone, colour, perspective and so on in order to be creative in his or her work and achieve something which has meaning. All these techniques are practiced on the course.
“The most important thing for me is to connect to something in the subject that touches my emotions. That becomes the driving force of each painting. The light and atmosphere of a dramatic landscape or a busy street, or the character and sentiment in a portrait. A painting can reveal so much, I never cease to be amazed and I can’t imagine that I could ever lose the desire to keep searching for more and to go deeper.” Mitch Waite
A few weeks ago one of Mitch’s students contacted me suggesting getting together for a painting week in Vence in the Spring. I was very inspired by his enthusiasm and so I have decided to try and organize two painting weeks next year, one in May and one in September. It will not be the same as before of course as I will not be demonstrating or teaching like Mitch used to do, but I would organize the accommodation, restaurants (for those who want) and drive people to locations as well as offer some art materials for sale. I would also be delighted to help with some basic techniques and guide those who feel like they need it. I am very excited about this idea and welcome anyone who might be interested in joining us. Please contact me for dates and more information.
Thank you to everyone who was able to make it to the Memorial Event last Saturday to celebrate Mitch’s life and work. It was lovely to see you all and share memories with you. I am overwhelmed by how many people he touched during his lifetime which although too short was filled with love and friendship. Much Love Hanna
Remembering Mitch Waite
I would very much like to share with you all a moment of remembrance and give you all a chance to say goodbye to Mitch and pay your respects so I am organizing a memorial event at the gallery in Vence in 13 rue de l’Evêché, on Saturday the 30th of November. Mitch loved being in his studio painting so I feel this is the best place to celebrate his life and his achievements as an artist and to remember him as a friend, teacher, father and husband. It will be an all day event for people to drop by when they can between 11am and 5pm.
I hope many of you will be able to join me and our two boys on this day.
After a year of battling cancer Mitch died peacefully at home on November the 10th. He was my best friend, a dedicated and loving father and husband, a great artist and a wonderful human being whose lust for life and passion for art meant so much to so many. I feel blessed to have shared my life with him for the last 15 years and I am proud of all the things we achieved together and most of all of our two boys. I will miss him so very much. I love you my darling. Hanna
On Christmas Day 2012 I collapsed playing football and was diagnosed finally with a brain tumour.
I have now spent the whole year on chemo etc. Unfortunately not entirely successful yet.
We have decided to close the painting holidays and emigrate to Sweden in the Spring. However we will run the courses that are currently on for 2014.
We have made so many friends over the years and wish you all well, hope to see you again somehow one day. Please feel free to contact us anytime. The gallery we have in Vence old town is now for sale.
Mitch & Hanna