My art draws on patterns and shapes in the landscape; I am inspired by what I see around me. Most of my work expresses the essence of what I see, celebrating the complexity of the land, the sea and the sky. Occasionally I am captured by the power of an image and create works to share that power with the observer. So often I find the work I have created is a stranger to me, something I can only see accurately out of the corner of my eye or in an unexpected reflection. In those moments I understand that I have painted my pleasure in the world around me, bringing together the subject, memories and impressions and the moment.
I am representative of the thousands of Australian artists, many of whom are women, who cannot live without art and who enjoy the freedom of creation. All amateur artists create art for the love of their art. Many women artists who create art don’t seek celebrity, but their art resonates with their peers and often achieves a core of expression. I aspire to be like those women, enjoying the thrill of creation and I hope to create something that resonates with the viewer.
I agree with Norm Magnusson, who in the 1990s stated that art should
- be intellectually engaging without being intellectually elitist
- be as much fun to look at as it is to think about, and
- invite interpretation.
Albert Camus is another person whose words about art inspire me. He wrote in his essay “Create Dangerously”
“The loftiest work will always be… the work that maintains an equilibrium between reality and man’s rejection of that reality, each forcing the other upward in a ceaseless overflowing, characteristic of life itself at its most joyous and heart-rending extremes.
“Reality cannot be reproduced without exercising a selection… The only thing needed, then, is to find a principle of choice that will give shape to the world.
“The artist chooses his object as much as he is chosen by it. ….. Art is neither complete rejection nor complete acceptance of what is. It is simultaneously rejection and acceptance, and this is why it must be a perpetually renewed wrenching apart. The artist constantly lives in such a state of ambiguity, incapable of negating the real and yet eternally bound to question it in its eternally unfinished aspects.”
Since I was able to hold a pencil, I have made art. My art education began in my final year of high school when I returned to Australia from Burma. My first job was working with animation artist, Lee Dore, where I explored animation for black and white television and the delights of textures and shapes using Windsor and Newton shades of grey. I worked as a graphic artist with the University of New South Wales and with Information Design Pty Ltd.
I was privileged to paint with Roy Churcher for five years (2006-11). Roy was a widely respected artist and teacher and his wife, Betty Churcher AO (Director of the Australian National Gallery 1990-97, painter, teacher, art critic, author and gallery director – part of the lifeblood of the visual arts in Australia) was also a mentor and graciously took interest in my work. Roy encouraged me to paint people, and ever since I have loved working on the landscape of the face. Sadly, Roy and Betty died within a few months of each other in 2014/15.
Several years ago I secured a studio space with a group of artists in Mornington, Victoria, where I exhibited and sold my paintings. Other commissions have been through personal contact and my website.
As well as portraiture, my current practice focuses largely on Australian urbanscapes. Commuting on a daily basis, I have observed and experimented with capturing the ever-changing light and colour in Australia.