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My Art Wasn't Always This Way...

'Tranquil' Mixed Media. (SOLD)

Order Amongst the Chaos.

A couple of tips on how to view my art.

Years before I became an abstract/mixed media artist, I couldn't even look at an abstract painting. I would merely pass it by without giving it a second glance.

Abstract art scared me!

It made me afraid, because I thought there was a secret or something hidden and I didn't want to say anything per se, as I may appear stupid, or worse, sound stupid!

Since I've been around the art world now for some 30 years and have completed numerous courses with well-known and reputable artists. I started to lean more and more toward abstract art and, more importantly, learned what to look for and to be aware of how it made me feel when viewing art that I liked.

Notice what you are feeling

For this reason, I want to reach out to you - the person who doesn't like or understand abstract art - maybe this will help you in the future when you view abstract art to analyse what it is you are feeling and why.

So with that in mind let's start with dissecting the above painting:

  • Contrast - for me it's all about contrast - the darks and lights of the painting.

You may not know this, but your eyes will naturally be drawn to the dark areas of a painting. Follow the darks around the painting, from there you can move your eyes and start to delve a bit deeper.

In my work, I love to bury things under layers of paint or plaster. I have a great collection of memorabilia and feel deeply for the women of the past (mainly women) who made these laceworks, crocheted doilies etc. I want to breathe new life into them. To give them another go, so to speak. To save them from the landfill. So I bury them. Then I scrape, gouge or sand the layers back to unearth these treasures. I try to bring a feeling of an ancient wall you may see in Venice.

  • Look deeper, my lovelies and find the stencils made from stencils retrieved from past shearing sheds. Or find collaged pieces embedded. You'll see script you can't decipher, but just know - these are words from my heart. Vintage wallpaper and scrim, my husband and friends bring me from old buildings.

  • Look deeper again and find those quiet conversations. Yes, they are another layer, not always obvious.

  • When it is almost finished, when I will then go one step further and go in with more mark-making (not on every piece) I love to grab that black crayon, Indian ink or charcoal pencil.

These are my marks of freedom! I am in control!

  • Yes, the opportunity to go back in and create these marks gives me complete control over the piece! I control this artwork - not the other way around - where the artwork has control over me and I'm too afraid to add these marks, as I may ruin it! No - I'm in control - this is me!

And this is Wabi Sabi.

  • The final step is to add the gold leaf embellishment. Oh, how I love the glow of the gold. It all just adds to the juxtaposition of it all.

  • When it all comes together, and not always how I first imagined, it is a OOAK (one of a kind) It's the only one in the world.

Side story: It took me years to get to this stage of my art practice and I knew I'd come a long way, when I asked my husband to add some marks on a painting. He looked at me in horror, "No, I can't" he said, "I might ruin it!"

That's how I would've reacted all those years ago.


That being said, I cannot control what other people bring to my paintings.

You may not see everything in one sitting. My customers tell me years later, they still discover things they hadn't noticed before.

Now, that's what I love to hear - that's what drives me today

'Weathered Wall #2'

'Fragmented Memories #2'

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