I have lived in Perth, Melbourne and Sydney and trained as an Illustrator and Graphic Designer. I often travel to various archaeological sites in the UK and Ireland, the Orkney Islands in Scotland being my favourite place. After working freelance in graphic design, I decided to incorporate my love of history and storytelling into a series of acrylic paintings.
I produce paintings with drama, atmosphere and a slight sense of the melancholy. In high school I adored learning about Rene Magritte, and as a result my paintings are done in the surrealist style with birds and statues often as the main feature.
As you can see, many of my paintings are inspired by places I’ve been to or folklore picked up in my travels. When I start a painting, I have a thumbnail sketch and a colour scheme already in mind. After that, it’s a case of plugging away at it until it looks the way I envisioned it to look.
I currently work from Sydney, but am prone to move around. My base is in beautiful Alvie, a small town in Victoria’s South West and the perfect place to be inspired by nature, light and scenery.
" I have lived in Perth, Melbourne and Sydney and trained as an Illustrator/Graphic Designer and Librarian. Working freelance for several years, I decided to incorporate my love of surrealism and storytelling into some big acrylic paintings.
From the age of about six I had always wanted to illustrate books. And write them. And publish them. I invented my own logo and made books out of that old school printer paper with the holes down the sides and staples. I would spend hours of my life in front of my old Remington typewriter, which was the best toy ever, making up stories and illustrating them afterwards. For ages my preference was for stories featuring animals in human clothing (think Disney’s Robin Hood where the lead character is a fox). After that I became obsessed with Oliver Twist (It was our 3rd grade play) and have fond memories of listening to Ron Moody, the original Fagin, reading the audiobook whilst I ate numerous chocolate paddle-pops and drew pictures of the story.
In high school I was just as obsessed with art. Ask any of my friends. Or don’t, because I refused to make any. I used to hide in the art room for hours, drawing in happy silence. I didn’t paint, because I only discovered acrylics when I was about sixteen. Before that, it was just sketching scenes from Lord of the Rings, before it was cool. Because I am an only child, I have always been perfectly happy in my own company, working on some art project or other.
After studying Design and Illustration at Uni, I realized that I had nil experience in the field of Graphic Design. Nobody in their right mind wanted to hire a graduate and at twenty I was as clueless as they come. So for years I ended up working other jobs and doing freelance design and paintings in my spare time. I always think it’s funny when people say “why don’t you just quit your job and be an artist,” because if I did that, they would then say “Why don’t you quit being an artist and get a job?” Yes, unfortunately we live in that kind of world, I’m afraid.
After moving between Melbourne and Perth for some years I settled in Alvie, a small town not far from Colac in Victoria’s South West. From there I got the chance to travel and became interested in history and archaeological sites. This in turn spurred me to capture these combined loves in my artwork.
I still get a thrill remembering visiting an unexcavated stone-age tomb in Scotland and sitting ankle deep in water inside it. And crawling into an underground burial chamber in Ireland with my phone in my mouth reminiscent of Gollum with a fish. Inside I found my buddies from the tour, sitting in the dark talking about their favourite Seinfeld episodes. I remember reading the story about the shy boggart, who howled mournfully when the laird of the island was slain at Culloden, and the story of Queen Mab and the unpredictable small people who inhabit the fairy mounds on the island Skye.
Other inspiration apart from travel comes from Surrealist Rene Magritte and illustrators such as Mike Wilks (The Annotated Alphabet) Graeme Base (Animalia) and Mike Whelan, whose Sci-Fi art I fell in love with at age 14. Mike Whelan’s paintings have one strong scenario that tells a whole story, and that is what I try to do with my own work. Google “The Sentinels” and “The Summer Queen” to see my two favourites.
My first solo Exhibition, "Lantern Bird" was held in 2015 at the Red Rock Gallery near my hometown. I have also had solo exhibitions at COPACC (Vic) The Rizzeria (NSW) and Workshop: The Makery (NSW). After a short break I am very happy to also exhibit with Artshine Galleries in 2019.
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