Where do you live/work? Where is your studio?
My studio is off my kitchen. When we went looking for a house, we made it priority to have an area I could use as a studio and teach classes. I teach at home as well as at Fresh Fix Cafe, an arrangement that works well.
What have you entered in this year’s Rio Tinto Martin Hanson Memorial Art Awards?
My entries are two totally different pieces. One is colourful and on the modern side of things, a contemporary piece which I decided on at the last minute. The second piece is a portrait of a Blue Winged Kookaburra.
Tell us a little about it:
I have 2 entries. The first is the Blue Winged Kookaburra.
It is very understated if you can call it that. It has the title ‘The Essence’ as I have captured just that, the essence of the Kookaburra. This piece , I feel, tells the viewer the whole story in it’s simplicity.
The second piece is more a fun piece. I wanted to do something a bit different to what I normally paint. The painting is playful and bright using colours that complement each other yet it still has that element of nature but in a simple way. It was a last minute decision and it paid off. The painting is called ‘Complimentary’
What inspires you to create art?
My inspiration comes from everywhere. I would have to say nature has a big part in my subject matter, especially our native birds and of course as everyone knows, I paint a lot of Kookaburras. I have become very observant and look for the unusual, be it a setting or a look if it is a figurative piece. Portraiture is also one of my inspirations. People interest me as a subject. I have been painting now for over 25 years with the majority of that time in watercolour which is the hardest medium to control. I think I am on top of that now so I can concentrate on my subject matter. I take a lot of photos to get inspiration and use my own reference most of the time.
Why do you think Art Awards like the Martin Hanson are important?
The Martin Hanson Awards are important because it gives Gladstone artists the opportunity to shine. We have so many talented people here and it is the one time in the whole year that they can put their art on display to be seen by everyone who wants to see what is on offer. Artists can spend all year getting their entries ready.
The fact that it gets entries from all over Australia and abroad gives this competition great credibility and we need that as the talent would be hidden away or we would have to venture elsewhere to exhibit. The opening night is a great affair and brings out many upstanding citizens