ART GALLERY

 
 

About Ri's Work

My Background

I have played with drawing and painting all my life. After winning the Art Prize at high school I wanted to go to Art College, but in the '60's that wasn't considered to be a smart income option, so I was diverted to the Humanities/Arts at university and then teaching.

Leaving Australia in 1970, my life was taken up with casual jobs, travel and adventure in Europe and Asia, occasionally drawing and painting when I could. After settling in California I studied with Bob Uecker, a foremost watercolourist on the west coast. It was everything I'd been looking for!  Dynamic, spontaneous and expressive brush strokes, free flowing, true watercolour transparency. I was enchanted watching magic unfold as Bob painted in the classes for us.

From there, I spent time in an Ashram in India where I worked in the Art Department on posters, paintings, restoring statues and calligraphy. Back in Australia I headed up the Melbourne Ashram Art Department. Soon I was teaching Watercolour Painting, Calligraphy, Meditation and Hatha Yoga  in Community Colleges while living and working in Eltham, Victoria, and bringing up my two daughters.

I now live in Ocean Shores, NSW, Australia, where I teach painting classes and workshops in the beautiful Byron Bay area. I run my Counsellling, Psychotherapy and Healing practice in my home clinic, enjoying the balance in these two fields of work.

My Artwork

I love watercolours... a medium which allows free flow and unimagined surprises as well as wonderful luminosity. The style I learned in the US is vivid, spontaneous and dramatic. The techniques for transparency and all the textural effects allow for vast possibilities way beyond what I call 'just colouring in' of the old-school English style of watercolour painting.

 My subjects are often visionary... something appears in my inner vision demanding manifestation into the physical realm. Other subjects may be imaginative, mythological, or from nature. I readily paint whatever students ask for.... flowers, nature, faces, still life, abstract... demonstrating the techniques around whatever form. There is a creative energy beyond the mind which requires thoughts and ego to step aside. I love the suspense and anticipation when I face an empty page - often not knowing at all what will manifest. The first strokes and colours set the tone and it feels like I am in a vortex of creative energy which takes over.... challenging, wooing, delighting, frustrating, surprising... This is what students sense when watching me dance with my brush.

Another Medium - Acrylic

In the last few years I have included acrylic in my art experience. Oils are lovely but the turps is a toxic deterrent. I have none of the old-school elitism around art mediums. Whatever draws you is right.

Acrylics is a great discovery. I always thought I didn't want to use a medium which has to be pushed around by the mind! It seemed to allow less spirit, less sponteneity. It is much more physical than watercolour in terms of pushing paint around a canvas, but I find I do enjoy the muscular action of it. And it has its own type of spirit and expression. Some things I know from watercolour translate across, though mostly the process is very different . There are acrylic mediums which allow for transparency, thinning, thickening, delaying drying, which extend the possibilities. I have a feeling of surrender and experimentation as I explore more into the acrylic realm, unlimited by classical approaches. I also like to play with papers and fabrics as textural effects.

I hope you enjoy these artworks which span over a couple of decades.

If you visit Byron Bay, contact me to look through my home gallery to purchase works.  You may like to attend  some painting classes through ACE Mullumbimby or book private classes (see Contact page).

Images of my paintings are yet to be uploaded... Visit again soon.