At school, my favorite subject was art. This love never faded and I went on to college to study art. I became a Commercial Artist, working in advertising, sign writing and a major city newspaper as a press artist.
My background has covered many visual art skills; from calligraphy, brush lettering, set and props design, large scale banners and backdrops, book illustration and graphic design of logos, brochures, flyers , posters and signage.
All the while I filled sketchbooks wherever I travelled and went to many life classes to draw the figure. Having also studied ballet as a child, I also love drawing dancers.
I use many different media, such as pen & ink, charcoal, watercolours, acrylics, and pastels. Each artwork or subject, lends itself to a particular medium.
My house portraits have been very popular. They are usually worked in watercolour, pastels or pen & ink.
The first portrait I did was for my Mother; of her rustic brick and log house in the bush. That was in 1985.
After she passed on I was gifted the picture back and now it holds much sentimental value for me.
As do my portraits for those who commission them, usually for special anniversaries, and gifts. They often include the family pets...which makes a house a home.
I am an outdoor girl and much of my art is directly influenced by my love of the natural world.
Being also a Commercial Artist/Designer I am, of course, influenced by the brief!
Born in London, I migrated to Australia with my family at age 12 (we were Ten-pound Poms!)
I had a very creative upbringing. My mother, a well-known painter & potter, encouraged myself & my three sisters in the visual & performing arts so that we were artists, musicians, ballet dancers etc.
I trained in Brisbane in Commercial Art – Design & Illustration, gaining a scholarship to attend Art College. Then I worked as designer in a Poster Company, in advertising agencies here & in the UK, & as a press artist for many years for the Courier/Sunday Mail. Since having a family, I have worked freelance from my home studio. Work has been as varied as posters (the old art of ticket-writing), murals, sign-writing, stage sets & props, banners, trade fair backdrops and graphic design (logos, business cards, letterheads.)
I have always maintained a passion for art. I fill sketchbooks wherever I go – inspired by the world around me. The beauty & drama of landscapes. Compositions created by man & nature. The human figure – the nude, dancers in motion, figures on a beach.
My house portraits grew out of drawing many different houses on my travels. When a shoulder injury curtailed working on a large scale, the idea formed that I could promote this as part of what I do as being not so physically demanding.
I had some years earlier painted my mother’s house as a birthday present for her, which led to a subsequent commission by some friends who were very proud of their renovations. It has proven to be a very popular idea & I have completed many commissions. A painting captures more than the physical appearance of a place. It captures the spirit, & the composition utilises the best of the setting to convey the atmosphere of a property and show its best side! I can also leave out or disguise powerlines, poles, meter boxes etc. The house is immortalised! As in my own experience, the value of the artwork increases with time…when my mother passed away, I received the painting back and it serves as a fond reminder of the past.
I have often been asked to include the family pets in a painting – some that are already in heaven, once again grace the front steps or veranda (worked from a photo) in the house portrait. Others I have drawn from life only to hear they have passed away but are also immortalised in the picture. Some are of homes long demolished, recreated in a painting.(Reference supplied by photos, descriptions & in one case reading a book written by a relative!) Some I have had to show with renovations completed & garden landscaped! One had to be shown how it was in earlier times, so I had to deconstruct the renovation!! I work in all media except oils (at present), but it seems watercolours and pen & ink are the most popular. Acrylics & soft pastels produce a more painterly effect. As a change from houses, I have produced a portrait in pastels of a row of baby possums on a branch for a wildlife carer. A souvenir for her when her “babies” are released to the wild. And lately I have been commissioned by store & restaurant owners to capture their businesses for posterity! The portraits make an ideal birthday, anniversary or wedding present that lasts forever!