Meet the Team

Meet the Team




Marcel Desbiens, Director | Principal Tutor | Master Artist

Marcel founded Bienarté (the Home of 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 Bienarté hos now 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 Bienarté 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 developing new ideas for classes, workshops and seminars to meet students' 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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Catherine Aboud | Foundation in Oils Tutor

Catherine is often drawing on flowers and landscapes for her inspiration. As a Brisbane based artist, her realistic paintings reflect her close observation and celebration of the beauty to be found in nature.
Catherine’s calm and encouraging nature ensures that students new or returning to oil painting learn the vital foundation skills they need, in a relaxed and friendly environment.
Away from teaching and painting, she enjoys showcasing the works of famous artists in her role as a Guide at the QLD Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art.


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Ros Danka | Foundation in Oils Tutor

Ros’s artistic passion was ignited at the age of 5 when she was awarded a scholarship to the Qld Art Gallery. This was followed by tuition in water colour, photography and more recently oils.

Having pursued a career in teaching and allied health, Ros now combines her two passions of art and teaching to help students gain the fundamental knowledge and skills of oil painting in a relaxed and encouraging environment.


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Bronwyn Searle | Studio Painting Tutor

Bronwyn enjoys the challenge of taking ordinary, everyday scenes and interpreting them in her own inimitable and increasingly widely recognised style. She has recently returned to still life painting, while continuing to explore the detail found in leaf litter and textures in the urban world.
Bronwyn worked professionally in the art field for more than 25 years. Her awards include first prize in the Lethbridge 10000 Small Scale Art Awards.
She exhibits a new collection of works annually at Lethbridge Gallery and being a practicing, exhibiting artist she is well-placed to advise students in her Studio Painting classes.

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Margaret Coulson | Accounts Manager

Margaret Coulson spent her formative years drawing people and architectural landscapes in graphite, pantone pens and ink, before discovering pastels. In recent years she has refined her pastel painting techniques and oil painting techniques, becoming particularly interested in the many facets of water and the reflective compositions that the element of water helps create. Architectural landscapes and portraits continue to be a focus for Margaret.

Margaret’s works have been accepted into a number of competitions and she has produced several pastel portraits on commission.


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