As a young child I was always drawing, painting and making things. As I got a bit older I was allowed to play with clay in my mother’s studio. In primary school I loved art but in secondary school I studied sciences. When I left school, rather than follow sciences, I attended Prahran CAE and majored in sculpture.
While at college I studied so many subjects; Drawing, Sculpture, Welding, Mould Making, Smelting, Life Drawing, Printmaking, Painting, Conceptual Art, Art History (which I found extremely boring), Costume Design, Ceramics and Photography. I have never felt limited by a particular technique or style and I am not good at sticking to the rules of a particular technique. I did not complete my studies at PCAE, not because I did not get good results but because there was so much more to do and life was too much fun! I have never regretted it. Life is where my inspiration comes from. Life Drawing is the one discipline that I have Artist in Profile continued throughout my life. It trains my hand to draw what I see, not what I think I see. Abstraction sometimes follows but I believe that you need to develop
and maintain the skills of observation, perspective, line and tone in order to be able to abstract. I like to know where the line should go and then I can let it go where it wants to. I have developed that theory from the work of Picasso, who was the most amazing realist drawer at the age of 6 and went on to be an artist famous for his abstracts.
I have attended hundreds of art workshops over the years. Papermaking, Silk Paper making, Tutu Making, Chinese Brush Painting, Water Colour, Portraits, Batik, Marble Sculpting, Abstraction, Ceramics, Airbrushing and Encaustic. I am off to a Hebel stone workshop in September at the Goods Shed. I am a Jack of all techniques and Master of none. This suits me because I have learnt so many things along the way. I have used most of the skills I learnt in some capacity.
The picture on the left is of a collaborative work for WTG’s production of Little Shop of Horrors. Big “Little Audrey”. I went to a puppet making workshop at Wonthaggi library and WTG is where I ended up. Such, new friends and another project, “The Dragon” for Miss Saigon. There will be more I am sure. I have also had the privilege of teaching art to Children. I learnt more as Artist in Residence at Brighton Primary School and teaching here in Bass Coast, than I ever taught.
“Let the line take you on a journey.”
Children have the ability to learn a technique and then allow it to take them to where their imagination is waiting. I now try to do the same.
You don’t have to wait for a class, model or an experience to inspire your art work. I draw what is around me just to enjoy the meditative focus it gives me. I draw my hands, my feet, and my pets, flowers in a vase, a musical instrument or anything I can see at the time. This is not only good practice but also incredibly relaxing and centring. I primarily use my art practise for my emotional balance and well- being. If something I draw inspires me I might take it further using one or all of the techniques I have learnt over the years.
I have written and Illustrated 2 Children’s Books, Rosie’s Box and The Habitat Tree and am working on the illustrations for a Friend’s book, Pelican Pete and the Mermaid. I play the guitar and am learning the harp. I feed Pelicans at San Remo and I am a Funeral Celebrant. I have lots to keep me busy but my artwork keeps me sane. Some would argue that it does that!
This year my plan is to look at airbrushing again. I have the equipment from after the Workshop I did. I have a habit of buying equipment then finding a new technique. I bought the teaching CDs this month and when spring arrives and I can work outside, I will be onto it. That is as long as something else doesn’t grab my attention. I am currently working on a commission for my 15 Year old Grandson. One of my most important paintings to date.
It is of Coronet Bay. Not Quite Finished.