From today I am going to try and introduce you to some marvelous people that are creative in some form or an other. They are people I know or I admire or do something wonderful. One of the questions I ask them is an exercise that they like to undertake to loosen up or get inspired. I will then try this exercise (and hopefully you with me) to see what happens.
Today I want to introduce you to the wonderful Kelly Southee, whom I met by chance and we hit it of. She then invited me to come and join into the exhibition “Home is where the Art is”, that will take place from 10-18 September at her Pool Studio Gallery in Annerly, Brisbane.
> Can you please introduce yourself?
I am a kiwi born artist. I moved to Australia in 1981, straight to the
booming mining town of Dysart in Central Queensland. Ten years later,
after completing country schooling I came down to Brisbane for
university. I became an interior designer and worked in corporate
fitouts during the 1990’s. I always sketched and painted as a child. I
have picked up that passion again, initially as a way of offsetting the
demands and challenges of raising a family. Now I feel compelled to
paint to keep me grounded and always curious.
> What is your medium and the kind of art you make?
I’d have to say that art has always been central to my life. I like to
respond to things going on around me: the landscapes I have lived in,
the buildings that I pass by often… Initially I used oil paints and
concentrated on pure landscapes, but in recent years I have turned to
soft pastels, and acrylic paints. Both of these I can use en plein air,
sketching on location in the wilderness, or back in the studio after
gathering inspiration around the city. I like to rapidly capture scenes,
within a few hours or a day. If a piece doesn’t work out, I start a new
one, rather than over-work and loose the sense of immediacy and energy
that I think is important to convey.
> Where do you find your inspiration?
Inspiration is forever cropping up! I keep seeing new painting scenes
and make a mental note to return to sketch or take reference photos:
such as urban trees, views of stunning skies, the play of light and
shadow on a house or a fence. The ordinary but the extraordinary. Out in
the wilderness I like to set up a travel easel or sit on a rock and that
time away from the city is invaluable to keep me painting for the months
ahead. I move from mountain scenes to city landscapes…
> Can you give us an exercise that helps you either warm up, loosen up, get unstuck or has a wonderful memory?
A good exercise that I like to do to warm up and get into the swing of
painting or drawing is to tape paper or canvas to 3 to 4 boards, and
work a little on each piece, not overdoing any one piece each time. I
place the other works in progress off to the side and can sit back and
suss out what I am doing right or what to improve upon. Many cups of tea
and cake are essential to the process!
I also find regular art mentoring sessions are very good. I see a
Scottish born artist who now lives in Australia – Alan Morrison. He
always extends my ideas of what I can achieve.
You can find Kelly:
A group of mini-artworks (10x10cm each) of local places
Caxton Street Stayers (this will be in our exhibition – an old house in
Paddington that is still hanging in there will much urban redevelopment
happening around it)