Painter working in River Studios
I studied Fine Art at the Victorian College of the Arts and graduated in 1996. At the time I was trying to figure out in what way art was meaningful to me. Art for me is essential for my mental health. It is an extension of my feelings. It helps me work out how I feel in relation to the world. I have used art as part of my own healing since I emigrated to Australia. I had emigrated from England 7 years prior to graduating. I knew that to paint was to describe my inner feelings and that if it hit the mark the result was extraordinarily good, but not everything hit the mark. This is still the case and its almost an unconscious process and one that cannot be hurried or contrived in any way.
I don't work from photographs because I can't feel the sense of myself in environment that I need. I feel that the image loses something by being mediated through a camera. I carry my canvases and paints out to where I am working and bring the image back to my studio where I may continue working on it. at the moment I am working out at Port Melbourne painting the container ships entering and leaving Port Philip Bay. My choice of motif is partly reminiscent of my father who was in both the Royal Navy and merchant navy but also I enjoy the challenge of describing the great body of water that is Port Phillip Bay I find that this practice generates quite a lot of community interest. I show my work at Tacit Contemporary Art in Abbotsford, usually once a year.
How do you use your space?
I am a painter with a bachelor degree in fine art. I also hold a Masters in Art Therapy and I am currently undertaking a Masters of Social Work at the University of Melbourne. I hope one day to combine my skills as an art therapist and counselor and spend part of my time on my own practice. I paint either directly from the motif or out of my own head. The 2 works shown here are at the beginning of my recent exploration of boats and water. I painted boats on the Maribyrnong River and these are some of my recent paintings of Port Philip Bay.