My art journey began in an incredibly bizarre way.
Prior to 2008 I had zero interest in art, I didn’t do art at school, didn’t paint with the kids (too messy) and had no interest in visiting art galleries.
In 2008 I was playing regular competitive tennis when I was asked to reserve in a Division one doubles competition. During the match my partner served the ball and hit me in the back of the head. Whilst she was no Serena Williams, the hit caused a swelling and niggling pain in the back of my head, which required medical investigation. Luckily the cat scan came back all clear but I had this sudden urge to start painting.
I saw a painting in a brochure and had a lightning bolt moment where I thought “I could do that” and rushed out bought a canvas and starter kit of paints and did it. Three days later I presented it to my totally amazed husband for his birthday.
The whole process was so enjoyable and the reaction I received from my family was so encouraging. My father was a hobby artist who always was suggesting I paint but I had never wanted to before. Suddenly I was painting every spare minute I had. At this stage I had two young boys one was 2 and the other was 6 so I was teaching myself and painting on the kitchen table every day whenever they were napping or at school. I was looking at art books for inspiration as this was before I had access to iPads and the internet. I just kept experimenting and soon the paintings where piling up. My husband was getting a bit concerned and said “what are you going to do with all these paintings”. Very tongue in cheek I said I would sell them … never really thinking I would.
After a year of teaching myself I decided to join a local art class and found they were about to have an annual art fair so rashly put my name down to have a stall. Quite incredibly on that day I sold 9 paintings and received 4 commissions. I was so excited and motivated I just kept going and began approaching local cafes to display my art and local art shows and people kept buying them.
And each year it has just got better and more opportunities have arisen and more people have become collectors of my art often returning to add more paintings to their collection. (The record goes to one north shore family who purchased 12 of my paintings to decorate their new home. I am still pinching myself over that.)
In 2016 I was very honoured to be selected as one of the top 100 emerging artists in Australia and New Zealand by a panel of art experts including Ben Quilty, Roslyn Oxley and Amanda Love to participate in The Other Art Fair Sydney. I also was asked to join The Milk Factory Gallery in Bowral and was offered my first solo exhibition.
My art is now held in private collections in America, England, Canada, Japan, Austria, Croatia, Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore, Israel, Slovakia, New Zealand and Australia. In the last year I have been asked to exhibit with Wentworth Galleries, Gallery 307 Northbridge, Hearts and Mind Art Noosa and was selected as a finalist in the Hunters Hill Art Prize. I was invited back for the 6th time to the Other Art Fair to exhibit in Sydney 14-17 March and named one of the top 20 best selling artists of the fair.
This year I am absolutely thrilled to have been selected to exhibit at The Asia Contemporary Art Show in Hong Kong at the Conrad Hilton 29 March -1 April and the Affordable Art Fair Hong Kong 16-19 May.
I did not connect to the hit in the head to my urge to paint until some years later when I saw a program on “Acquired savant syndrome” which is a condition where “dormant savant skills emerge after a brain injury or disease…where few such skills were evident before.” I jumped off the lounge and said “that explains it!!”. Something turned on that day which may have been there before but needed a knock on the head to turn it on. And I am just so grateful for this wonderful creative life and amazing journey that I am on.
I still play competitive tennis and always a bit wary at the net in case my doubles partner hits me again and suddenly I lose my creativity :)