In 1996, after retiring as a teacher, my ‘art life’ began. I enrolled with Anna Platten at the Central School of Art to study drawing. This was the beginning of what now consumes my life.
I love to draw and paint and to be with other artists, discussing art and painting with them. I have a large art library and spend many hours reading about artists, both living and dead. Visiting galleries in Adelaide, interstate and overseas and seeing wonderful exhibitions are highlights of my life. Spending a day in Monet’s garden and looking through his house and studio as well as visiting galleries in Paris, London, Vienna, Amsterdam, St Petersburg and across Italy will remain with me as amazing experiences.
Many artists have influenced my style of painting. I love the work of the Impressionists as well as that of the early Australian tonalist painters – especially that of Clarice Beckitt. Edward Seago’s watercolours and oils are inspirational and I particularly like Joseph Zbukvic’s watercolours. Most recently I have been reading about and viewing the works of Ray Balkwill, the English artist who uses pastel with watercolour.
My years as workshop co-ordinator with the Adelaide Art Society have given me the opportunity to organize and attend numerous workshops by leading Australian artists. Attending a week- long school of painting in Bathurst in 2005 with hundreds of like- minded people was a wonderful experience as were more recent painting trips to France and Croatia with Adelaide tutors John Lacey and Trevor Newman. In both these trips we painted in ‘plein air’ for two weeks at a time while viewing beautiful scenery and such architectural gems as ancient buildings, castles, churches, cobbled streets and village life. I have so much information both in my head and in my sketch book and photo albums to last a life time.
With so much subject matter available I like to challenge myself with both familiar and fresh themes. Both colour and light fascinate me and this often dictates the medium I choose to work in. I like to experiment and am currently looking at the work and style of Shirley Trevena, the contemporary English artist who works in mixed media and some of my most recent work reflects this.
If only there were more hours in a day!