This is a guest post from my friend and fellow South Australian visual artist, painter of the sea Philippa Robert. We posed each other 5 questions to answer today. If you’d like to read my swap post visit Philippa’s blog or check out her lovely new site. M x o
1 What do you love about painting the sea?
My love for the sea goes a long way back. It holds happy memories of beach holidays, sunny days and wintry beach walks. To paint it is to relive the happiness in a way. And there is so much for a painter to see! The light at different times of the day. The gorgeous deep blues and aqua greens and so many colours of the sand.
2 How and when did you first know you wanted to focus on painting?
The idea has come and gone a bit. In my late 30s after my marriage broke up I threw myself into drawing and painting from the model. After about 5 years new family arrangements and a mortgage called me away! Over those years I still painted and drew once a week with an artist friend. The real turning point came in 2008 when I was working half-time in aged care and half-time on painting. I was shortlisted for the Fleurieu Vistas Prize which was so exciting! It was like an affirmation from the ‘art universe’ after toiling away on my own for so long. Soon after that I retired from paid employment and now, I’m hooked!
3 And how did you make the adjustment to actually prioritising your art?
Well, I had to wait for the last daughter to leave home before I could claim studio space. I had booked an exhibition with Gallery M at Marion so the pressure was on. The work wasn’t a problem. I loved it. The show was a really positive experience, so I just kept painting. I exhibited in group shows over the next couple of years and then galleries seemed to be closing. It was time to set up a website, facebook page and a blog. My heart was in my mouth, but the conversations in blogging have been interesting and fun. These days painting shares with grandchildren. I save two days a week for painting and grab any extra time that comes my way. So that’s a mixed answer, but prioritising is still a work in progress!
4 Do you feel as though you could live anywhere, or is it important to your artwork that you are located in South Australia?
I feel as if I could live anywhere! I do love South Australia, and Adelaide as a city suits me with its suburban beaches and spectacular countryside nearby. But there are so many other places to see and paint! I dream of living and painting in the UK for an extended time. It doesn’t have to be by the sea or the coastline, although I am drawn strongly to it!
5 Can you describe for us a good painting day?
Ideally I’d start by painting on the beach for a couple of hours. This could be from dawn when the fishermen and working walkers are out or about 9.30am when the beach is a bit quieter. Then it would be time to sit down for a while – check in on my blogging community and emails. The afternoon might see me working in the studio on a current challenge or a larger piece. There are usually a few things on the go at the time. All in all the good day would have lots of work, lots of flow, a few coffee or tea breaks and some roasted almonds and fruit to eat during the day. And definitely no telephone calls during working hours!
Thank you, Philippa! So happy we could share an actual orange and spice rooibos tea, and a virtual cup with our readers!
About Philippa Robert
I have been drawing and painting for more than 40 years. For the past five years I have painted as often as possible and have recently begun to relish outdoor painting. It is almost an addiction! Now that my outdoor kit is simplified and near the door I can use the odd interval of an hour and a half if it arises. Studio days are still relished, but short sessions often suit the complexities of family life.
PS Philippa’s home is the most wonderful place! You can see some of the delicious wall of art behind us – much too see and talk about – just the way I like it! Along the top of the (ocean facing) window is a row of delicate sailing ships. So much light and delight :)
M x o