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A Journey from Nature-Inspired Textures to Mindful Creativity

Discover the artist’s journey into creating nature-inspired textured artworks and the link between creativity and mindfulness.

Tell our readers how you began your relationship with art.

While I only started painting three and a half years ago, I have been a lifelong creative. From sewing to timber work or quilling, I have tried (and loved!) it all.

My husband and I built our home on the weekends before we had our three kiddos, doing most of it just the two of us, from meshing up the footings to standing the frames, waterproofing, laying the floorboards, tiling the splashback, and painting the interior. We went and learnt how to do a finish for our fireplace, called venetian plaster. It was through our venetian plaster course that I started experimenting with inks, paints and different mediums to create colourful mirror-like works of art.

Your pieces have this stunning textural quality to them; what made you want to work like this?

My texture has always been my signature, however it was a complete accident! While I was creating polished boards for our fireplace, I noticed different products created thick paste rather than a smooth surface and I fell in love with this. I love the shadow play and the ‘I want to touch it’ feeling of looking at textured art. When I use my paintbrush for the first few layers of an artwork, it is imperfect, big and loose, so I love sitting down to work on the textured layers with my palette knife, creating more careful, precise and thought-out elements to my work. It is very meditative.

Nature is clearly a source of inspiration for you. Tell me more about your connection with the natural world around you.

I was lucky enough to grow up on a large farm in the central west, so from as young as I could remember, every day was spent outside in nature. My siblings, parents and I would often make toys from nature, like thistle boats to race down the channels and flower crowns from paddock daisies, or we’d draw pictures in the bulldust with sticks.

I find so much beauty and inspiration in our natural world. Unique shapes cast by shadows, colours of leaves and the unlikely but incredible survival of a native orchid in a tiny crack of a rock all stay in my mind and act as inspiration in one way or another throughout my paintings.

It’s time to make some art. What does your creative process look like?

My creative process doesn’t involve a lot of planning. Usually, I will have an idea in my mind of what I am trying to achieve (and other times no idea at all) and I just go for it. I find that each layer or each mark I make will determine the following layers or marks. Sometimes it feels as though my art creates itself when I work in this way. I constantly step back from my pieces as I work on them to see them in full, to make sure they look well balanced as a whole.

What sort of a link do you find between creativity and mindfulness?

There is research to suggest that mindfulness can enhance creativity. I think it equally works that other way as well. I do find that when I am creating for me, with no expectation (not as a commissioned piece) that I can get lost in the moment and somehow hours will pass by without realising it. Creating does provide a sense of calm and almost a ‘reset’ of my mood.

Have you ever felt as if you were suffering from a creative block and if so, how did you overcome it?

I have only been painting for three and a half years and I have not yet experienced a creative block.

I definitely have days when I feel more or less inspired and sometimes recreate pieces in different colourways or with a different spin on them if I am feeling less inspired. However, I am quite the opposite. I’m always searching for more time in the day to create what is in my mind.

What advice would you give to our readers who are considering the daunting process of putting paint to paper?

When you create for the feeling of creating, rather than the outcome or external factors, it takes the pressure off. I think it helps to see those first movements on the paper/canvas etc as a free pass or a warm-up. Any imperfections are rarely seen in full as the artwork evolves, and they only add character to the finished piece. Just start, and you will find your rhythm.

Article Featured in WellBeing 206

Lauren Clarke

Lauren Clarke

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