First Prize for Realism 2002
- Nature's Glory
Art Dept Interview
As the winner of your category in the 2002 International Art Contest,
being selected by such a diverse group of artists from all around the
world, how do you feel?
I feel stunned, extremely proud and very humbled! This is an honour that
I never expected considering the immense talent and the large number of
other artist's I was up against from all around the world.
I have only been painting professionally for 2 years and so want to
thank all those who voted for my painting, as well as the organisers of
this excellent contest, for giving me this wonderful opportunity to show
my work worldwide. I would also like to congratulate the other entrants
for the outstanding quality in their works and wish everyone "happy
painting" and a prosperous 2003.
Please describe your current works and any plans for forthcoming
Currently I'm concentrating on Waratah paintings for the Galleries that
I exhibit in and I'm also completing some commissions, as well as a
painting I'm donating to the Royal Australian Flying Doctor Service.
If any, in what ways have you seen changes in attitudes towards
Personally I feel that our modern world uses the word "Art" and the
title of "Artist" far too liberally and in doing so the traditional
"brush and paint" artists along with their mystique have somewhat been
lost in the mire... or am I being too old fashioned? Do you think a person
can call themselves an "Artist" when they claim an empty room to be a
"work of art"?
Of course this is just "my" opinion but I do find it rather sad and
Do you think that the fine artist will survive as technology replaces
Most definitely, because I do not believe that technology could ever
replace or emulate the heart and soul of the human spirit. A painting
isn't just a picture like a photograph, no matter how realistic, it is a
part of the artist.
What advice could you give to those embarking upon a career as an
Considering that I have only been seriously painting for a few short
years, I think the most important advice I can give is... If painting is
your passion – follow it! I did, and although it was quite a gamble to
take, I know I will never regret it. And even though at times it can
seem like a very long and bumpy road, it is also an incredibly rewarding
one, especially when you see the pleasure and delight on a persons face
when they first see your paintings. To be an Artist is a true privilege,
because every day you are giving others the gift of seeing a part of the
world through your eyes, which they may never have noticed before. So
be brave, be bold, be patient and be true to yourself by painting what
is in your heart and never be deterred by criticism or set backs and
enjoy your paintings, because when you do, others will even more so.
Why did you enter the Art Dept contest and what decided your
selection for entry?
Quite honestly I entered the contest in the hope that it would lead
people to my website, which had only been online for a few months and in
that way get more exposure of my work out into the big wide world, which
to my immense amazement and pleasure is exactly what has happened.
I had not long completed "Waratah - Nature's Glory" when I learnt of the
contest and being quite happy with the paintings result decided to enter
Is there anything about being an artist that you do not like?
Other than the usual financial struggles with being an artist and the
occasional but very frustrating times when inspiration flies out the
window, I can honestly say that I really don't dislike any aspect of
being an artist. To me, being an Artist is "everything" and I truly love
what I do and I consider myself incredibly blessed and privileged to be
able to paint and bring pleasure to others through my work.
Would you sell your most favourite artwork, or keep it?
Since beginning my art career I have painted a few works that became,
for a variety of reasons very special to me, but due to the necessity of
the bank account staying out the "red" I have had to sell them. However
parting with these special paintings isn't too difficult because I know
that who ever has purchased it, has felt a connection with the work and
therefore I know the painting is being enjoyed and treasured.
However my most favourite and extremely precious painting has to be the
very first one I painted, back in 1994, through which I discovered my
passion. This humble little disaster of fabric paint on calico is now
framed and hangs proudly on my studio wall as a reminder of how and
where my career began.
How important was education and training to you?
Being a self taught Artist and only having had the most basic tutelage
in the "do's & don'ts" of oil painting I don't really think I'm
qualified to answer this question. However I will just say that for me
personally, reading books by other artist's on their techniques and
ideas and studying the old masters has been invaluable and I will always
continue to do so.
Is there anything in your art career that you would have changed?
Not really, except that I wish I had listened to my Mother years ago
when she would tell me how 'Artistic' I was, and started painting 15
years earlier than I did!
If you were invited overseas to exhibit your works, where would you
like that to be?
I have actually just recently been invited to exhibit my work in
Scotland at the wonderful "Syllavethy Gallery" near Aberdeen, which I am
delighted about and so will be sending some works to them in the very
I am happy for my work to be shown anywhere where there is genuine
appreciation for Fine Art.
Are you looking forward to entering the contest for next year?
Do you recommend use of the Internet for an artist's publicity?
Most definitely. My website has only been online for 10 months and the
difference it has made to my career is astounding. Not only is it easier
for me, no more lugging around of the bulky portfolio everywhere I go,
but it nicer for others as they can peruse the website at their leisure
and view my work without me hovering around.
It is also far more professional when approaching Galleries, in which
you'd like your work to be Exhibited, to simply give them a website
address rather than send a portfolio or a bunch of photographs for them
to see your work.
Believe me … technology will never surpass the Artist but it can
certainly assist them!
Would you change anything about how the contest is organised?
I don't believe so, as I found the site and information to be very well
organised and set out and had no problems when entering the competition.
The only thing I am disappointed about is that due to being away on
holidays I was unable to participate in this interview until a week
after the announcements of the winners was made and therefore wonder if
it would be possible for the Winners to be telephoned in the future.
How can the Internet be made better for working artists?
I believe it is up to the individual Artist to make the "Internet" work