"What inspires you?"
This is a question I'm preparing myself for, with this year's Noosa Open Studios nearly upon us!
It's a question I ask myself on a daily basis.
I could give you a hundred answers that include everything from sweeping landscapes and fallen leaves to emotional experiences and waste cardboard packaging. But that doesn't make me sound very focused.... which I admit sometimes feel I ought to be.
But the reality is that as an artist, I live in a constant state of response.
Just about everything I see, feel and experience informs what happens in the studio, and in a myriad of different ways.
And it's never just one thing that guides the creation of a singular painting.
Making art is not a linear process for me, it's all about finding threads and weaving a rich tapestry of colours, shapes, lines and textures with experiences, both in the moment and stories from times past.
Having spent many years 'responding' to the world by making art, common threads have emerged in my visual language and these threads have bound together over time to become like a rope, tethered to an anchor which grounds my conversations with the canvas.
These threads are the considerations that I give most space to as I work;
the interplay of light and dark;
interaction between colours;
shapes and edges;
loose expressive marks and finely painted details.
Beyond that, I know each painting will reveal itself in a unique and different way as we go on a journey of chance encounters together.
Simply having the freedom to respond to anything or everything, in whatever way I chose, on any given day, is really the only inspiration I need.
This freedom allows me to step outside of myself and into a world of limitless possibilities, to create something from nothing and being able to empty my mind of everything but those threads is my motivation and inspiration and why I do what I do. My paintings are simply a physical manifestation of that freedom.
And the old light bulbs and cereal packets, twisted sticks and gathered leaves, remembered landscapes and poignant moments are just invited along for the ride as my muse.
I'm thrilled to be able to share my latest series with you!
This body of work brings together my liminal approach to art making with more formal considerations of colour and shape.
After completing my Portal Series in early 2023 I spent several weeks re-investigating the work I'd made, through sketch and collage, creating a 'Wall of Curiosities', filled with mini paintings. drawings, collages and visual experiments.
I gave myself time to sit with the work, respond to what I could see and allow threads of resonance to surface. This reflection exercise enabled me to unearth clues as to where to go next in the studio.
Shape emerged as the primary consideration, but I also wanted to approach my use of colour with greater understanding, resulting in time spent immersed in researching colour and making small colour studies and sketches. This exploratory work formed the basis of the paintings in this series.
My mind turns often to memories as I'm working, reflecting on places I've been and things I've seen and experiences I've had, and these stories weave their way into the work as I contemplate the guiding narrative of each piece.
This is a body of work that reflects on my encounters with shape, colour, process and experiences.
You can see these new works across two exhibitions during September and October or view the collection online:
I'm excited to present a selection of paintings from my new series in 'Abstraction' as a featured artist at Stevens Street Gallery
8 Sept - 29 Oct.
Come and join us for the Open Gallery Night on Friday 15th September 6-8 pm. All welcome!
Head to the gallery website for more information and opening times.......
....or come and visit me in my studio
6 - 15th October at 85 Annie Drive, Peregian Beach.
I'd love to show you around my working space, talk art and share my new work with you!
You can check out the trail guide online and find out where to pick up a hard copy via the Noosa Open Studios website.
My sketches have taken a bit of a back seat this month, but I've had 'muted' colour on my mind.
And with leftover paint on my palette I thought I'd take a little sidestep from my bigger paintings and ask myself....what if?
So until next month, let your inspiration flow - from anywhere and to anything, and enjoy the pure and simple act of creation!
I look forward to welcoming you to the studio 6 - 15th October!
I'd love to hear you from you, if you have any feedback on my newsletters or any questions about what's happening in the studio.
Feel free to get in touch anytime!
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