I was born in Sydney and grew up in Canberra.
I was never ‘artistic’ and had no formal training in art at school or
My formal academic training is in education.
I have a Master’s Degree in Special Education (Hearing Impairment) and
paraprofessional interpreting qualifications in Australian Sign Language (Auslan).
About My Art
I started learning to draw and paint two
years ago. There is a wonderful freedom in being an emerging artist. I
have nothing to lose and nothing to prove. The world is my oyster. There is
a quote in the July-September 2008 issue of the Art Collector that resonates
with me: “Before you’re famous. That’s the interesting time.
That’s when everything is smooth and like ice-cream and nobody is expecting
anything from you so you’re just looking straight ahead...” That’s me,
looking straight ahead…
Painting is my passion, my focus, my
commitment and my struggle. When I am painting time stands still. I
truly exist in the moment. There is nothing else.
When I finish a painting, if I am really
lucky, for a brief moment I look at my creation and inherently know it, it
speaks to me. It radiates energy, intensity, integrity and purity.
It is the perfect expression of what I want to say. It gives me a
sense of satisfaction and delight. In that moment I glimpse something
that is uniquely me, something I have created that is pure and
uncontaminated by self-criticism and doubt, or consideration of what others
may think of it. I transcend the ‘real world’ and experience a sense
of freedom. I take pure pleasure in what I have created.
Inevitably, I come back to the ‘real world’
and my rational mind takes over. I am no longer so sure of myself or
my art. In the ‘real world’ there is self criticism and doubt, and it
is part of the human experience to desire the approval, acceptance,
understanding and critical acclaim of others. Doubt and negative
self-talk come into play.
But, as Andre Gide (French novelist and
essayist, 1860-1951) wrote: “One does not discover new lands without
consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time”. Starting a
new work is an exciting adventure. So I buy another canvas and I start
another painting. What drives me is the process as much as the
finished product, the desire to express myself and communicate with others.
Teachers and mentors are so important.
These are some of the things Ernie, my teacher and mentor, has taught me:
Try things out…play ‘what if’, be free, intuitive, take risks and be brave.
Have fun. There is no absolute certainty in the process of creating.
It is a fine line between a "masterpiece" and a "big miss", especially when
you choose the brave but risky approach. Having a ‘big flop’ painting will
happen, and you can learn from that as well. The progress towards
better and better is the main game.
Ernie encourages my artistic pursuits, and to
quote him: “In my humble opinion, and applying my own subjective criteria to
judge artistic merit, you have all the required qualities of becoming an
excellent artist: good eye for colour, enthusiasm, open mind, curiosity and
receptiveness to creative ideas. And also the application to actually paint
a painting and create a piece of art.”