Tell us a little about yourself and what you do.
I have been and again will be a full time artist. Presently I am a ‘starving artist’ and out of necessity I have immersed myself in a homeware design business with two friends – www.sottodesigns.com. Painting, which helps me make sense of my life, has taken second place. But the wheels are turning and 2011 will show a return to hopefully almost full time art. Yeah!
Who (or what) inspires you to do what you love in your own creative business?
I love the beauty and colour, the light and the vibrancy of my surroundings here on the Sunshine Coast. I feel besieged at times with the need to put what I see on canvas and enjoy using images from my everyday life. My paintings are a personal response to the landscape I see each day as I move through my environment – I see something or experience an emotion sometimes in looking at the hills or the sea. Often it is a thing I didn’t see the time before and the challenge is to express this.
Where do you get your inspiration from when you design/paint?
Mainly from nature, flora and fauna. Sometimes I see shadows on the pavement and that forms an idea in my mind for a piece of work. Or an image from a book, a magazine, a corner glimpsed in someone’s garden. I try to let colours run and merge together on my canvas and once dry will sit and look at what shapes and stories emerge from the random way in which I have prepared my board. I love to let a painting grow as brush meets canvas and often the initial plan is scrubbed in favour of an emerging tale that creeps into my head as I paint. Birds bring such joy to my vista on a daily basis and for this reason I also love to incorporate them into my work. I enjoy weaving figures into my work, mostly women but sometimes the shadow of a man alongside which somehow brings me face to face with a woman’s reality…….that of many journeys and numerous farewells…..be it with lovers, children, friends or someone who has been significant to my life.
“Between The Birds & The Sky 1”
What are the five words that people who know you would use to describe you?
Balanced (!), generous of spirit, animal lover, food lover, stubborn
Tell us about your very first job and what path have you taken since then?
I trained as a legal executive and went into a world of conveyancing and litigation. But after travelling for five years living in many different countries my little creative baby was born. I guess it had always been there, waiting to emerge.
Describe a typical day in your?
Presently it is about networking, sales, customers, marketing and pushing the homeware business forward. In my other life as an artist I had a ritual. A takeaway coffee, hitting the studio, sitting, reading, reflecting, observing – I cannot make a strike on the canvas until I somehow connect with a quiet place inside and this ritual helps me achieve this.
As an artist, what is your biggest frustration?
Tell us about how you prioritise your work.
Oh gee, now I have to tell the truth. I am not good at prioritising my art. I procrastinate immensely. And then, whammo – when I start to involve myself in a piece I cant sleep, eat or think about anything else. I paint like a mad woman.
Since you are working from home, can you please tell us about how do you connect with other artists, and your customers (i.e. how do you network)?
I have several wonderful artist friends and we often meet for coffee, share thoughts, a picnic, a glass of wine. Sit and look at each other’s work and critique – I love it and that is what I presently miss the most.
Lisa (right) & Friend at 2009 Exhibition
What advice can you offer other creative people who are just starting out and following their passions?
Find a mentor, someone who encourages daily, weekly. Never say never, all things can fit in to a busy life, we just need to do that thing called prioritising!!!!! As I write this and having shared ten days with Vinh I now feel ready to recommit to what has always made me happy – creating artwork.
What dreams do you still want to achieve or fulfil in your life?
To have six months somewhere painting without any distraction. Perhaps to even exhibit overseas would be a dream. To travel to some far flung places not already seen. And to give back something to the world, in some small way – the opportunity hasn’t arisen but I am searching for it.
Between The Birds & The Sky 5
What is your proudest moment so far?
Looking at my two kids and realising I did pretty well!
Who do you most want to meet and why?
Paulo Coehlo – any person who can write a story as rich as The Alchemist would be wonderful to sit and share a glass of wine with and find out where his inspiration came from.
What is the most important lesson in life that you have learned?
To sit at the feet of your own life and learn.
“The Eternal Now is All We Have”
What book are you reading right now, and do you have a book you would like to recommend?
I am re-reading an Isabel Allende book ‘Aphrodite’ – a sensual book on the mingling of food and love. I find her writing inspiring.
A book I read recently was ‘In a Strange Room’ by Damon Galgut and I enjoyed this tremendously although others I know haven’t.
I am inspired to re-emerge from hibernation, to enter some art competitions, to have another exhibition, to not say no when someone asks me to paint a pieces
“Reflection Whilst Kayaking (1)”