What had started about a post on mosaics morphed into a second post about my own artistic journey. My innate artistic preference became visible early in high school when I developed a fascination with pointillism.
Not the Seurat or impressionist style of blobs of paint, but the surreal ink posters of Aubrey Vincent Beardsley during the Art Nouveau period. I was fascinated not only with the block cut approach but the spattering of ink which made his grotesque images decadent.
After emulating his prints over and over again at age 13, I then went into creating my own ink dots. I don’t have any left but they were similar to the image below but in a 15 year old way.
By my mid 20’s I gained an appreciation for aboriginal art and the use of color and was first inspired by Brownyn Bancroft when I was given a copy of her book Stradbroke Dreaming.
A few years later I happened to meander into Fireworks Gallery in Brisbane and was amazed by the enormous moving works of Gloria Petyarre swimming around me in the room. Gloria Petyarre remains one of my all time favorite artists today.
Little wonder I spent a decade creating my own dot paintings at home, each one fastidiously aligning thousands of dots per image. Then all of a sudden I became bored with painting and studied stone-masonry.
This evolved into creating my complex bedheads – inspired by the art nouveau artists and full of dotty mosaic like ornaments.
Another decade along and I began making and teaching mosaics with smatterings of Bronwyn Bancroft, aboriginal inspiration and art nouveau all mixed in together.
Today. without a studio or room to do larger projects, I have spent the last five years tinkering on mosaic like jewelry and beaded sculptures like the image at the top of this post .. hence my approach has remained consistent.
I still like bringing together a solution to create a story or image, I adore the ornate and glittery and how this can be coupled with the simple or grotesque. The challenge for me .. is bringing together the dichotomies to make a unified sensation visually, emotively and aesthetically.
This was along winded story leading to the images in my next post about mosaics. Last night I was browsing modern mosaics and it brought back memories of my own artistic path. I have moved into a far more contemporary edgy appreciation of art nowadays but I am not sure how that will manifest into my artistic style in the future.
However for me, the complex task of placing objects and color together either aesthetically and to tell a story requires a combination of mastery and artistry which I still enjoy.
ALWAYS THE ARTIST