I was invited to the Pittwater Council's Newport Easter Art Festival over the long weekend and attended an exhibition of artworks produced by artists from the Pittwater Artists Trail. On this occasion, I was delighted to meet some of the artists and talked to them about their work and appreciated art from their perceptive.
The Pittwater Artist's Trail is in its 5th year and the exhibition showcases the work of many talented local artists from the Northern Beaches. The aim of the Pittwater Artists Trail is to provide an opportunity for the community and visitors to engage with the local artists. The public can visit 20 artists and artisans' home studios across Pittwater during the weekend of 5-6 March, 3-4 September and 3-4 December 2016.
There were two exhibition halls filled with exquisite artwork on display and for sale during this Easter Art Festival.
During this Art Festival, artist Leonie Barton conducted a special Ephemeral Art Workshop where she talked to us about her environmental art and how she observed, collected and arranged found objects into a masterpiece. Her art materials mostly came directly from nature and included sticks, seeds and bits of bark she has walked past. Her art was like a harmonious collaboration with nature.
Nada Herman's "Beach Study", Oil on Canvas, 60cmx60cm $800
Personally I quite like Nada Herman's work. Her art is bright, fresh and happy. The style is quite minimalistic with free bold stokes. I think her artworks appeal to me because they draw influence from the simplicity of a blessed lifestyle in Sydney.
After a 20 year career in television production, artist Julie Hickson decided to devote herself to making art stencils using the old French 'pochoir technique'.
Julie Hickson L: 'Bay to Beach' Acrylic on canvas 30.5cmx30.5cm $320 R: 'Newport II' Acrylic on canvas, 30.5cmx30.5cm $320
A lot of her subject matters focus on the beautiful Sydney beaches, but her artwork on the native botanical plants is quite distinctive.
Julie Hickson L: 'Mottlecah' Acrylic on canvas 102cmx153cm $2500, R: 'Coast Wattle' Acrylic on canvas 76cmx102cm $1650
Artist Roberta Landers has over 30 years experience in textile design across all facets of the fashion and textile industries. She is also an illustrator and likes to design original patterns to reflect on the simple things in life.
Artist Roberta Landers and her 'Wetland', Birch plywood screen (waxed) $1800
They say art making can be quite a lonely practice as ultimately you work on your own. This is certainly true when you admire artworks like "Wetland" or "Cogs", they consisted of 15 fine layers of birch plywood to create depth and 3-D dimensions.
Roberta Landers 'Cogs', Birch plywood screen (waxed) $1800
Artist Helen Mackay was trained at National Art School and majored in print making. The piece "Layered Time" is produced in an Abstract Expressionist style exploring developed techniques and processes. It builds depth through layers of oil colours revealing hidden spaces.
Helen Mackay's "Layered Time", oil on paper, 65cmx99cm $1950
I was instantly captured by her "Under the Weather" piece. It was a stunning piece with dramatic clusters of magnificent stormy clouds roaming over Sydney city. I was informed this particular shot was awarded 2nd place in Ken Duncan's REAL Australian Landscape Awards in July 2015. It was taken at Bradley's Head on Anzac Day 2015.
Pamela Pauline's "Under the Weather", Fine Art Photograph on 100% Hahnemulhe Cotton Rag, 15cm x 15cm $260 framed
Pauline said that particular moment was sheer magical as she watched Sydney engulfed in hail as the sun was setting. Seeing her works is like going on a photographic adventure and she certainly has successfully treasured that moment in a beautiful art piece.
It was a successful event for the artists and the community to connect together. It also encouraged people to take a look behind the scenes of the art world. Likewise, it gave artists the exposure to new audiences and some walked away with happy purchases.
Wendy Grainger 'Gymea Lily', Acrylic on canvas 70cmx70cm $550