1. Hi Greta! Thanks so much for your time in answering my arty questions. I've been following you on Instagram for about a year now and I always love seeing your art and your posts. For my readers who may not have come across you, can you share a little bit about yourself and your art - where are you based, how would you describe your art generally, what drives you to continue in your art practice?
I am based in the inner south of Adelaide, near the foothills, so I live near some great walking trails and a lovely Recreation Park full of wildlife. My art is full of colour, and sings with the joy of life. I’ve had some pretty serious challenges in my life, so life definitely feels great and I want to share that joy I have.
I am driven by the excitement of creativity. It is a journey with so many options and opportunities. It is very exciting. Every day I go to my studio I am super happy to be doing what I love and what I am most passionate about.
2. Your sense of colour is seamless. Your colour combinations are perfection! How do you go about planning your colours for your artworks?
If I could, I would do a PhD in colour! To be honest, I don’t really plan my colours. It is very intuitive the way I use colour. Some colours just feel right next to each other, but I also like to disrupt that feeling by introducing a discordant colour and seeing what happens. Its only paint, and if it doesn’t work, I just paint over it! I think years of painting experience, learning and teaching have taught me lots about colour, but at the end of the day, colour is a personal experience. We all have personal preferences about colours.
Colour and shape are very interconnected. Some colours are heavier than others: for example, cadmium red is a very strong colour, and I don’t tend to use it with sharp edges, it makes me feel anxious, yet, it is wonderful in a shape with curves which softens its energy.
When I am painting, I consider shape, colour and tone to create harmony, depth and interest. The colour palette has to feel right before I can get progress the composition. It is fundamental to my painting processes. To that end, I have dozens of jars of colours I have premixed to my preference, ready to go. I pretty much always use an orange, pink and a variety of blues and greens in my compositions. Neutral greys and browns are made from a mixture of these colours. I rarely use straight yellow. I find it a difficult colour to work with.
3. Your gorgeous website (check it out here: www.gretalaundyart.com) really showcases your work brilliantly. Your pencil works are also shown there. Can you tell us more about the mediums you use, which you might prefer and/or why you choose a certain medium on a certain day?
Thank you Ros. I use different mediums if I feel stuck or feel like I am repeating myself. Since university days I have ripped up drawings and cut up paintings. It is essential we are not precious about our work. Ideas only come from experimentation and stepping outside of our comfort zone. Drawing is a very meditative practice to me, and I simply will go through stages where I need to step away from the easel and draw for the simple joy of it. I also love the translucency of colour pencil and the way I can create small precise marks which I would never have the patience to do with a paintbrush. I will often draw on my canvases, either at the start or the end (over the acrylic or oil paint).Drawing creates line which is something I don’t use a lot of in my paintings (thin lines that is).
4. I adore how your work often references specific Australian landscapes. Can you share more about your connection with the landscape (was it the flinders ranges?) and the significance that it has for you?
Growing up in the country, I have always felt close to nature and at ease in nature. I can be quiet and notice the beauty and patterns of nature, from the rock formations of the Ikara- Flinders Ranges. When I was 15, my family took a camping trip to the NT to see Uluru and Kata Tjuta (formally The Olgas). I distinctly remember feeling oppressed and overwhelmed in Kata Tjuta. Places are imbued with spiritual significance in Australia, how can they not be after 60,000 years of continuous humanity? The Ikara-Flinders Ranges similarly is a very spiritual place. I just feel it when I am there. I don’t wish to misconstrue that I have the same connection to Country that many of Australia’s Indigenous peoples have, its just that some places have a palpable feeling of deep time, and this is what I had when I was standing on top of a little hill in the Ikara-Flinders Ranges and I could see the whole mountain range from the northeast through to the southwest. It was amazing and hard to fully articulate.
5. Are there any artists that you have a close eye on? I'd love to share their instagram links to show them a bit of love.
There are so many artists that I love, too many to name. Living artists: I love Go Suga’s work, Angie Goto’s work. I like ex-pat Emily Besser’s works. Stephen Normandy blows me away. I like Isobel Rayson and Amber Stokie’s work. Sun Haas. So many more, I could write a whole essay on them all
6. How can my readers find out more about you?
I update my website pretty regularly and manage my Instagram. Please sign up to my email where I send out the occasional newsletter about my processes etc. I have just released a newsletter today detailing the process of painting one of my recent paintings, The Un-Earthing. I am always happy to answer questions when I have the time.
Another beautiful week and another beautiful artist! Comment below and tell me what you found most interesting.
PS. If you fancy a free watercolour video tutorial, head HERE.