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I painted my first painting when I was a teenager (an abstract painting in acrylics).However, I did not seriously commence painting for a number of years after this. I developed a passion for Art after travelling around Europe in my early twenties and visiting a number of galleries and gaining a general art education.
I lived for several years in Papua New Guinea and developed an interest in the traditional art forms as well as body decoration, dancing and music. I was particularly interested in masks and Hohao boards (Spirit boards) as well as fabric design. I had the good fortune to study with Ulli Beier who was a leading exponent of African art and writing as well as being a similar focal figure in Papua New Guinea.
When I came to Sydney, I became friends with the abstract expressionist painter, Leonis Urbanos. He was an artist philospher, who had developed ideas on art and spirituality. He inspired me to think about art in terms of universal themes and their connections. I was also encouraged by the example of another friend, the fashion designer, Marion Charlouis. She gave up her design practice to study art full-time. She convinced me to study at Julian Ashton Art School.
I commenced my art training at the Willandra Art Centre in Ryde. I also took private lessons with artist, Susie Gascoigne. She used Japanese papers and cut-outs. Later, I enrolled in night classes at the Julian Ashton Art school in the Rocks. I did courses in watercolour and also in drawing. I attended weekly life-classes and became interested in the connection between emotions expressed through posture.
When I retired, I attended the Royal Art Society Art School, studying with a number of different teachers over a four year period. I was particularly inspired by Ann Cape and Leyla Spencer. I was awarded the premier student prize in 2010 (The Allen Hansen Memorial Award).
I subsequently attended weekly art classes with Ros Psakis as well as workshops with artists such as Wendy Sharpe.
I was interested in Oriental Art and did a course in Chinese brush painting.
I had the opportunity to paint in France over a number of years, specifically with the English artists, Ann Kilvington and David Winfield, both long-time teachers and friends. I had the possibility to do plein-air painting and drawing in various French towns and the countryside. I developed an interest in the French circus tradition and this formed the inspiration for my first solo exhibition "Send in the Clowns". This was held at the Balmain Space gallery in 2017.
Lately, my interest in Japanese art has been rekindled after two recent trips to Japan. I am interested in Japanese ideas of space, balance and harmony. This is reflected in Japanese gardens, traditional and modern painting.
My approach to art is eclectic. I normally use oil paint. I rarely map out an art work before commencing. I have an idea, then let it develop. Often, ideas "emerge" from the paint itself. I tend to be interested in drawing people interacting with nature, each other and their companion animals. I am drawn towards "outsider art" and so called "naive art" because they tend to have an original viewpoint. I was strongly influenced by many visits to the Musee D'Art Naif in Paris and also "outsider art" exhibitions that I saw in Amsterdam. I like humour and absurdity and I am interested in the symbolic and mythology. I try to be original, so my artistic ideas are rarely traditional. I always carry a sketch book and do several drawings daily. I prefer drawing people, but will also draw landscape and cityscape.