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I was a bush kid from south west Queensland.
I had School of the Air, a menagerie of farm animals and a love of drawing. Living on an isolated station meant animals were often my play mates, we simply lived too far from a school and other families.
From here I went to boarding school in Toowoomba, Agricultural College at Longreach and various jillarooing jobs around eastern Australia.
After moving to Victoria in 2000 I began competing in 3 Sheep trials with my team of border collies, and was fortunate enough to represent Victoria and then Australia in the sport. I live on a farm in North East Victoria - still with a menagerie of animals!
It was only natural that when I started painting in 2014 that my work would draw on my lifelong association with the land, in particular the animals I have the privilege of forming respectful relationships with. I paint with a heart that was broken so young by the ravages of drought and dingoes, only to be patched up time and time again by the genuine affection and trust only animals can afford us.
As I have explored my own motives to paint these animals, I have come to realise it is not enough for me - indeed it is cold and hollow - to merely paint a sheep or a steer or whatever it may be. I must feel the soul and emotion of the animal at that moment to even be inspired to paint it. Then I must attempt to render that feeling - rather than that animal - in paint.
A small mob gently feeding together - quietly interacting and living simply in the moment..... a steer watching me with slightly lifted chin, a turned ear, an alertness or softness of the eye.... nuances of emotion so obvious to me and to others who have truly observed livestock in their care. Observation of their body language enables us to handle our livestock in a calm and respectful manner.
I aim to tell each animal's story in a way that those who know their language can read it, and be carried away by it to their own happy memories of a life on the land.
The play of light on my subjects fascinates me, and since my painting journey began it has been my goal to capture it in every piece I create.
I use acrylic paints, brush, palette knife and willow charcoal in my work, which varies from detailed realistic style to bright and simplified palette knife and brush painting.
My artworks are held in collections throughout Australia and UK, and has featured in the US publication The Ag Mag.
In 2022 my work "Kiss My Arse" was a finalist in the John Villiers Outback Art Prize. I have recently exhibited at Kathy Ellem Fine Art Gallery in Beechworth, Victoria. I was honoured my painting "Lovelorn" won the People's Choice Award of Federation Art Prize, Corowa 2023. My kelpie painting "Stealth" was 2nd in the same award.
My painting "Legacy" was Highly Commended at Tastes of Rutherglen Art Prize 2023
People's Choice Award, "Legacy" Tastes of Rutherglen Art Prize 2023
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