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About Mardi

I was born and still live in the south west coastal town of Warrnambool, Victoria, Australia. I grew up in a household with supportive parents who encouraged and valued creativity. My father was an art teacher and so growing up it seemed very natural to want to paint, draw and create things.

In my late teens I developed a passion for pottery and having been given a wheel I would be found most nights in the shed turning out pots and sculpturing figures. This is what I thought I would be when I left school… a Potter. Having wise parents and with a sense that maybe I’d have to make a lot of pots to make a living, I went nursing instead.

It was while working in the hospital that I met my wonderful ever supportive husband, Murray, and well…we had four wonderful children. Whilst raising a family I never stopped creating, I just couldn’t help my self! The kitchen table was my studio and my paintings decorated the walls.

Archibald portrait prize entrant 2013, 2017

Wynne Prize entrant 2015

Moran portrait prize semi finalist 2013 and 2017

Inspiration

I am not drawn to the dark side of life, but I appreciate and look for the beauty in life around me. Life is full of inspiration for my paintings…. my family, flowers from my garden, flowers on the road side, small clusters of shells on the beach, beautiful silvery fish that my husband has caught… creation is full of beautiful things. These things are given the same courtesy that my portraits are given, they are quite often put into a setting which comes from another dimension other than reality.

On Painting

I love the variables that oil paint allow you to have. It can provide a rich saturated brilliance to colour but if mixed with oil medium and painted in thin layers you can achieve a delicate translucency. For example, if you look very carefully at the scales and colour in a fish you can duplicate this effect with delicate layers of translucent glazing… it can be beautiful.

On Painting

I love the variables that oil paint allow you to have. It can provide a rich saturated brilliance to colour but if mixed with oil medium and painted in thin layers you can achieve a delicate translucency. For example, if you look very carefully at the scales and colour in a fish you can duplicate this effect with delicate layers of translucent glazing… it can be beautiful.

Portraiture

Painting a portrait is like capturing a moment in time… it’s not enough for me to see the likeness of the person you are painting, I want to tell a story too, You raise children and you see the imagination and the funny happenings that’s children bring. When the children were younger my paintings depicted quirky scenes of day to day life mixed with imaginary stories. A painting of a child in a bath was not just that, it was a child in a bath tub [no nudity revealed] squeezed into a washing bowl for a boat, and having fish and bubbles float buy. I still paint my family but they are all grown up.

Where I live

There is hardly a day that doesn’t go by that I don’t visit the ocean. I feel very privileged to live in a town by the sea. Pulling me to paint the colour of the sea on any given day gives up a gamete of colour.

The push and pull and sound of the waves, the sky reflecting the mood of the ocean, the sunsets, the sand, the rock and the teeming sea life all enrich the sense of creativity.

I am forever recording the things that inspire me on my phone

Contact

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