I was born in rural NSW and spent my childhood observing the landscape and its inhabitants. I was fortunate to discover my passion for art at a young age and always knew I would grow up to become an artist.
I had fantastic high school teachers who allowed me to experiment with all forms of art and taught me to see the beauty in everything around me. After failing to get into Fine Arts at University I undertook numerous short term courses at TAFE studying everything from Photography, Chinese Brushwork, Folk Art, Drawing, Oil Painting and Watercolour.
In the early nineties I moved to Western Australia and fell in love with the arid regions of the Australian landscape. Water mediums became my true passion and I quickly established a career as a watercolour artist winning a number of awards and exhibiting both interstate and overseas.
Moving to Melbourne in 2001 proved a challenge with more a more European light and a softer colour palette. It made me realise just how important vibrant colour and humour was to my work, and I started painting in acrylics in an effort to create large scale, colourful work whilst still enjoying the unique properties of a water based medium. Numerous artist residencies in Uluru have allowed me to continue to explore my Australian themes.
Throughout my arts career I have enjoyed sharing my knowledge with others through teaching, my blog and my Youtube channel. My recent appearance on the TV show Colour in Your Life has allowed me to share my love of exploring new techniques with a wider audience.
How long have you been painting?
I was fortunate to know that I wanted to be an artist from very early on and have pursued a career in the arts most of my life. I have been painting full time now for 23 years.
How did you get started?
I was devastated when I did not get into Fine Arts directly after high school. After a few aimless years, I enrolled in a painting course at TAFE and sold my first painting 6 weeks later through a local art gallery. With 2 small children at home and a mortgage to pay, I needed to earn a regular income so I began to approach my art as a business. I set up a portable display and painted wherever possible, shopping centres, markets, wineries, festivals and fairs. Gradually I produced a range of prints and cards and began wholesaling.
What is your greatest inspiration?
I gain most of my inspiration from the Australian landscape and its inhabitants. Travel and immersion in the landscape is a huge part of my process. When I am in the natural environment I find inspiration almost everywhere I look.
What is the greatest challenge to owning and operating your own business?
The market is continually changing and as a long term business owner you have to continually change with it. What worked well for a few years will not always work in the future, so you have to maintain what you are doing currently whilst simultaneously thinking about new directions for the future. In all of this you need to maintain a recognisable style. It’s quite a challenge.
What is the best thing about owning your own creative business?
Waking up every morning excited to start work. Creativity is definitely like a muscle. The more you use it the stronger it grows and sometime I feel like I need 10 more lifetimes as an artist to explore all the creative directions I want to go in.