“When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe. -John Muir, naturalist, explorer, and writer (1838-1914)”
For the past 14 years I have had the privilege to live with my family on a vineyard in the beautiful Hunter Valley yet my passion for the Hunter and the Australian bush began when I was very small.
As a young child I would often seek solace in the Australian bush. Our suburban home in Sydney backed on to a native reserve and I would wander through the reserve connecting with the plants and animals. My childhood was also spent on the Central Coast of New South Wales in a small hamlet called, Gwandalan. Situated on Lake Macquarie and surrounded by water and bush land, once again I would be known to take myself on long bush walks immersed in the landscape and pop out the other side at dusk into the bright lights of suburbia. Snakes, spiders and other creepy crawlies where never on my mind. I was an explorer, setting out on big adventures in Nature closely looking at plants and animals.
My connection with the Hunter Valley was welcomed by family friends who owned a sprawling property in Merriwa, about 3 hours north west of Sydney. A typical Australian countryside which is witness to the harsh yet unique Australian climate. I was fortunate to spend many holidays there and become captivated by this sacred landscape. It was here that I saw firsthand how Nature can be capricious. This had an impact on my life and where my passion for the Hunter Valley grew. I started to paint en plein air (outside) here, while still at art school.
I now live with my family here and my work is still inspired by this ever-changing Hunter Valley landscape. I still paint in my ‘backyard’ and in an intuitive, Impressionist style of painting called, en plein air. I feel there’s a connection between man and nature, always present yet often unseen. My purpose is to create an awareness of this connection. Unique in style, yet reminiscent of the works of Turner, Constable, Streeton and inspired by writers such as, Basho and Muir, my aim is not just to show a ‘pretty picture’, but to create a specific experience for the viewer.
If my paintings are dramatic or foreboding, just the way the sky looks before or during a storm, it’s because I wish for the viewer to experience that same intensity I see. I want the viewer to take a moment and reflect on our place within Nature. That we are all connected in this incredible energetic web.
I completed a Bachelor Fine Arts Honours at University of New South Wales. Further education has included Northern Sydney Technical College, a printmaking mentor-ship and many residencies. I have participated in many solo and group exhibitions in Australia, Europe, China and USA.