For most of my working life, I’ve been in book publishing as a freelance illustrator. Over the years I’ve also been involved in many community art projects, and at the same time I’ve exhibited my paintings in group and solo shows. Venues include various galleries in NSW and Queensland, the Tweed Regional Gallery in the Northern Rivers, and now in galleries across Gippsland and at East Gippsland Art Gallery.
How does living in East Gippsland affect your work?
Other artists and gallery staff have been very generous with their time and expertise - that’s encouraged me to try different techniques and approach familiar subjects in new ways - it’s freed up my work a lot. We’re fortunate to have such a strong network of galleries in the region, and professional support from good people.
Who or what inspires your creativity?
Nature, animals and people give me plenty of ideas. We can see the tree line on the Mitchell River from our back yard, and we take the dogs down there for a walk. Being near the water, watching the river move and seeing the variety of birds – wrens, finches, ducks and waders - always fires up my enthusiasm. Other influences include Japanese woodcuts prints, artists of the mid 20th century and tribal art. Ingres is a big art hero in terms of colour and tone.
Do you have a studio space?
I’ve sectioned off a part of our garage that has great light from the north. This winter though, it’s been too cold to paint out there, and I’ve appropriated a spare bedroom after hanging drop cloths everywhere. Now that there’s a hint of spring, I’ll migrate back out to the shed.
Where do you take visitors?
Locally, the Long Paddock Café at Lindenow is great, and the Lindenow Pub has Guinness on tap and a big fire on cold nights.
The Rail Trail at Bruthen is perfect for serious walking, and there’s the Bullant Brewery for a cleansing ale afterwards.
Further out, the drive to Swift’s Creek is beautiful at any time of year, and the Great Alpine Gallery is a must. We also enjoy taking visitors to Briagolong and the galleries there – another thriving arts community. Most of the time though we end up at home - cooking, eating and enjoying the view from the dining table.