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Know what is in your suitcase

I consider myself to be fairly art literate, especially in the domains of Modernism, Australian art and contemporary art. This is an essential part of my job as an art teacher: I need to be able to pass on my knowledge of art movements, styles and particular artists to students. But why should it matter in my art practice? Why is it important to interrogate my guiding lights – my inspiration?

I believe this is important for a variety of reasons:

  1. Nothing is new in art*. This was drummed into us at art school (hey, I’m a product of post modernism!), and nowhere is this truer than in painting, especially as painting is meant to be DEAD (which I don’t believe for one second!). [*Which really means there is nothing new in terms of style and technique in the traditional art mediums of painting, drawing, collage, sculpture etc. Digital media draws on these traditions of course. The growth of new technologies will create new ways of working (technique and style) over the coming years I am certain.]

But why does this matter?

  • As artists, we need to be able to articulate why we do what we do. Why we are interested in dogs and horses as subject matter, or why we completely eschew subject altogether in favour of completely non-objective painting or sculpture. Our use of art techniques, art elements and media is intimately linked to our values, our interests, our sense of the world, and our place in the world. 

Essentially, it reflects who we are, and ultimately, and that is only what can really be said to be ‘NEW’ in art: the subjective, individual voice particular to the specific cultural framework it is located within. (Contemporary art, by definition is always ‘new’ for this very reason). A voice that hopefully, resonates with others, pointing to some kind of shared experience expressed through the visual.

  • Plus, it is so much fun to delve into the massive, overflowing suitcase of influences we hold as artists, from the irreverent to the serious. In my case, it is a bag seriously overflowing with colour, play, joy and human pathos. I look forward to opening up this suitcase and dusting off its contents for you over the next few weeks. Stay tuned!
What Pandora Box awaits you when you delve into your ‘suitcase’?
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Please see Biography for a current list of galleries and stockists of my artwork.

For any other sales or commission enquires please contact Greta direct via email

“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilised people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity.” pioneer environmentalist and author, John Muir

A Necessary Wildness (2018 – current)

Birds (2018/19)

The HeartLand and New Ortus Series (2017/18)

The Ikara-Flinders Ranges series (2016/17)

In my Secret Garden


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The Ikara-Flinders Ranges series

I would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park, the Adnyamathanha people whose rich connection to country dates back many thousands of years and continues to this day.

img_4927School holidays, October 2016, we embarked on a family camping trip to the Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park. In addition to towing a 4WD camping trailer, we were also towing along two fairly reluctant teenagers. Ho hum.

I purposefully packed art supplies and made sure our camera had a cleaned memory stick in anticipation of the many sketches and watercolours I would make and numerous photos I was sure to take. And wow, what an amazing place I was constantly reminded this ancient mountain range is. So glad I took my sketchpad and camera.


It is now February 2017, and sufficient time has passed for me to have processed the visual experiences (without my memory getting too blurry) that I have embarked on a new significant body of work, The Ikara-Flinders Ranges landscape series.

Over the last five or six weeks I’ve made numerous watercolour studies exploring the colours and forms to be found in this special place. I’ve also started two larger oil paintings which I am confident is only just the beginning of many.

Oil paintings are below. I felt very confident returning to these luscious paints yet again, and understood how I can get the most out of them, particularly with my penchant for glazing. These works are not yet finished, but I’m loving the forms that are starting to develop.

So excited about this series, I can’t wait to get into the studio whenever it is possible to keep working. I’m also currently looking for exhibition opportunities both here in Adelaide, but also interstate, for this series later on in the year, as I look forward to showing them to the broader public.

So, despite the whinging teenagers, the riches of that 2016 camping trip are beginning to pay off!