Jo Murray has graciously answered interview questions and provided me with pictures of her gorgeous work - which I definitely want to see more of and know you will too! And you can! At her blog...here.
White Roses – one of my very first oil paintings, still hanging on
the wall of a friend’s home.
1.Tell us about
blogging and how it’s worked for you.
I only began blogging at the beginning of
this year. Since then I have found sooooo many like-minded friends both local
and further away. Having my blog address
on my business card has also made it easy for gallery owners to see what I do,
and judge whether my work would be up to their standards. This has led to many extra exhibitions this
year, and I have never had so much success.
2.How did you
discover your favorite art medium?
A late starter, I only began my artistic
journey by accident. I wanted to spend my evenings constructively while my
husband studied for his job. So, I joined a local community art/craft class
where I wanted to learn macrame (that's how old I am readers!... does anyone do
this anymore?) When I saw the 'painters'
and smelled the oil paint, I was determined to learn art.
I went to a 'hobby' class for a while,
painting gum trees and sheep, and floral arrangements, but soon realized that I
would need more expert tuition if I wanted to improve. Thus the real journey
began. I signed up for four years of Art School.
Art school introduced me to more expressive
way of painting, AND they made us use acrylics.
Goodbye oil paint!…. acrylics works so well with my way of
painting. Give me some fabulous colours,
some modelling paste, a few collage materials and there’s no stopping me.
North Coast Hills – a more expressive acrylic painting, done when
I first began art school.
3.What inspires or
influences you artistically?
Anything and everything! Ideas rage through my head so much, that I
must seem quite distracted when I’m in the company of others…. some texture on
a tree, a poem, a glimpse of a shop window as I pass.
I browse the web
looking at art from all around the world, and find it all amazing and most
definitely inspiring. Artists whose blogs I follow all provide me with links to
wonderful creative work.
4.How do you go
about the design process? Do you work to a design or theme or just go with the flow…or something else entirely?
I actually use both ways of working… sometimes at the same time. I often prepare papers with gesso and add
layers of paint and varnish. The paint
might be applied by brushing, dripping, rolling or however I feel. These often
form the background for my abstract works.
If I am planning a more realist work I paint
in a more traditional way, mapping out the composition first.
I like to work to a theme if possible… it
adds coherence to your work.
Rainforest – art school also introduced me to other mediums.
In this work there is ink, gouache, acrylic, and pastels. It was a new
concept for me to use several mediums in one work.
5.Is/was there a
significant turning point or defining moment in your style of work?
I took up pottery in the early days in order to finance my love for
painting. It worked so well that I did
much more potting than painting. This
year I have given it up and, as a result, the extra time and brainpower I put
into painting has seen my work improve amazingly. This will be my defining year
as a ‘real’ painter.
6.Which aspect of
your art do you enjoy most?
I can’t describe the absolute joy of moving
a brush, loaded with fabulous colour, across a blank canvas in the first stages
of a painting. It gives me a sense of
anticipation like no other. To see an image through to resolution is a
Southbank – based on an aerial view of Southbank in
Brisbane. One of my first successful semi-abstract works.
7.Can you tell us a
little about your methods and/or techniques?
I guess I have already, although I guess I
forgot to say that we all should do more drawing. Understanding the way a flower grows, how a
cat sits, how a person glances over his/her shoulder gives truth to your work.
Yes, you can distort but, to make your image read well, that understanding is
8.How do you see
your future work and style developing?
I seem to be leaning more towards abstract
work, tho’ occasionally I revert. I find
that it is more difficult to get an emotion into this type of painting, and
there lies the challenge.
9.How do you manage
With great difficulty. I am getting older and have less energy than
previously. I try to begin early in the
morning while I am fresh. I allocate at
least two days each week when I can do that and any other time I can snatch between
housework, garden and other chores. Of
course, somewhere in there is time for gallery crawls with friends, or just socializing. A nap in the afternoon is a
Three Arches – a very recent abstract work.
10.What have you
done this past year?
I was in the 13th Annual International Collage Exchange. I
was a finalist in a national art competition for the first time (there’s hope
yet). I had an exhibition in a new gallery, and have been part of the December
group showing in another. There have
also been many competitions and awards throughout the year. I enter whatever I have time for and this
year has been particularly busy. I have
come home with lots of certificates, and dollars, from most. It has been a very
11.What are your
I once had a
painting in a show at the Sydney Opera House.
I was delighted to be shown in such a
My being chosen as
a finalist in the Lethbridge 10000 was definitely a highlight.
I’m hoping that the
real highlights are yet to come.
exhibited work or taught classes?
I exhibit regularly. Seeing your work hanging with your peers is
one of the best ways to judge your progress. I don’t wish to teach as that
would take me away from my studio.
A Face At The Window – one of the collages in last year’s
International Collage Exchange.
plans do you have for the coming year?
I hope to enter
some larger award competitions, and perhaps collaborate with a friend on an
exhibition in one of our Regional Galleries.
I will be submitting collages to the 14th International
Collage Exchange (http://outofsight.co.nz/Dale/collage.html),
and perhaps participating in a few blog challenges.
14.Do you have any ambitions or goals you’d like to see
fulfilled in the future?
Absolutely! It has always been a
goal to have work in our Regional Gallery, and perhaps this will be the
year? I would love to win a prestigious
Art Prize, but that is in the lap of the gods.
I will certainly be working on it.
Create Your Life...