Meet local artist Paula Jenkins: Tell us about your work - medium, method and meaning.
I first started using pastels about nine years ago. This is now my primary medium along with combining acrylic in some works. I was drawn to the pastel medium due to their vibrant colours (this is due to them having a higher portion of pigment) and I enjoy the ways in which pastels can be applied by blending, layering, and so on, to create different effects.
My passion is landscapes. I have great joy creating vibrant landscapes with intense colours, and I’m particularly attracted to landscapes with bold clouds and water to create mood in my works.
My whole life I have been surrounded by nature and rural life and this has nourished my passion for landscape art.
How long have you been doing this and how did it start?
Apparently as a child I drew nonstop (so I was told) though I took art more seriously when at high school whilst studying 3 unit Visual Arts in my senior years. It was during this time I received one of the school’s highest awards for excellence in Visual Arts and this certainly encouraged me to take it further.
The current exhibition at the Walcha Gallery of Art is my first exhibition with a collection of works. Up until then I have exhibited individual works in combined exhibitions and art prizes. Because I went on to study Environmental Management & Tourism at Uni, my training and studies in art after school has involved individual workshops.
Of particular note is the one month “Place, Art & Culture” workshop I attended in Central Australia in 1999 where our group was accompanied and taught by artists. The workshop involved camping with remote Aboriginal communities, undertaking art tuition and being immersed in the Aboriginal culture and the landscape. Also in 2002 I travelled to southern Spain where I spent time painting with Australian landscape artist Piers Bateman in his country home. It is these experiences that have helped shape my approach and method of my landscape art.
Have you explored other art methods and mediums in the past?
In my early years I mostly sketched and painted until I discovered pastels.
What is your inspiration for this body of work and how long has it taken to put the exhibition together?
My inspiration for this body of work has been the landscapes I have explored in the local area and region whilst living in Walcha – but also conveying my interest in contrasting landscapes such as those in Central Australia. I have been working on the current exhibition since mid last year.
Do you listen to music when you are working?
Yes – always. I play particular music that helps the creative juices flow. Depending on the time of day I also like a wine or coffee / cuppa in hand.
Do you have a favourite piece and if so - which one?
In the current exhibition I had a few favourites – Gorge Country, High Country Celebration and Nundle Hills. I became quite attached to these.
Is it hard to part with your work?
The ones I have become attached to – yes! But as my husband told me – I can always do more.
Is there a history of creativity in your family?
Yes, my mother attended the International Art School in Paddington from 1965, and my father and both grandmothers were passionate artists.
Would you say art was a hobby or your profession?
Up until now it has been a hobby due to spending time in the past furthering my career. Though since having children and having more time to spend on art I am now keen to take it more seriously and make it a profession. I can’t think of anything better than having your passion be your profession!