For our Spring Art Exhibition, we welcome Amy Rebecca, a local artist, interior designer and dedicated mum of four little kids!
Inspired by her South African heritage and her love of nature and the Northern Beaches, Amy’s contemporary artworks feature vibrant, rich colour palettes and textures. Amy brings 12 of her favourite one-off original paintings to this exhibition.
Q: TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF – WHO ARE YOU & WHAT DO YOU DO?
I’m an interior designer, turned artist. After graduating from the College of Fine Arts, I went into our family business, Sheets Ahoy and worked alongside my mum custom designing soft furnishings for boats. When I went on maternity leave, I really missed the creativity, so I set up a little studio in our garage and started painting again. We then renovated our house and when I went to find artwork for the walls, I couldn’t find what I wanted, so I bought some blank canvases and created artworks for each space. Once my friends and family saw them, they started commissioning me to do artworks for their houses and I absolutely loved it. Earlier this year I decided to become a bit more serious about my painting and have recently turned my passion into a business. Being invited to host the Spring Exhibition at Beaches Coworking gave me the push to refine my techniques and create 12 artworks that I’m really proud of.
Q: WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT PAINTING?
I love the sense of freedom I feel when I paint – it’s almost a style of meditation for me. I love that I can get lost in a world where it’s just me and the canvas in front of me. It’s a real journey: I always start off excited, but then I start judging myself, questioning whether I can really create what I set out to do, researching colours, going off on tangents and experimenting with different mediums and techniques. I force myself to push through the doubt, to keep going until I’m happy with it. At the end of the journey, I feel so satisfied with the whole process. It’s nourishing for the soul!
Q: WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR INSPIRATION FOR YOUR ART?
For my work, I take a lot of inspiration from nature. Nature really takes my breath away – whether it’s blooming flowers, ripples on the ocean, sunrises or sunsets. My artworks are also reflective of my state of mine – sometimes I’ll do really tranquil paintings, but then other times they’ll be really bright, flamboyant artworks. These days I rarely use paintbrushes – I tend to use sponges, rags, straws and even hairdryers to get the texture I want. My painting style has evolved over time and I think it will continue to evolve with every painting. I think if I put all my paintings together you’d see the story of my life.
Q: HOW DID YOU CHOOSE YOUR ARTWORKS FOR YOUR EXHIBITION?
I have chosen 12 of my artworks that mean the most to me. They’re all inspired by the Northern Beaches and I think they’re my better artworks. I have also included four paintings I created recently after experiencing some family trauma too. These four bring out hope and freedom and were really important in helping me process this really tough time.
Q: WHAT’S THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU FACE WITH YOUR BUSINESS?
Finding the time I would like to commit to my painting is definitely my biggest challenge at the moment. Hopefully when my littlest kids go to school, it will free up some more time for me. I’m also transitioning my passion into a business and going from creating artworks for my friends and families to being commissioned by complete strangers. It’s a really exciting time and so good for me personally – I love it.
Q: WHAT’S THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU’VE BEEN GIVEN?
To be true to myself. I come from a very supportive family with a background in art and design and we always encourage each other to find our ‘thing’ and commit to it. Having always had family businesses, we learnt from a young age that you don’t just jump ship when the going gets tough, but rather you go through the ups and downs and come out the other side stronger.
Q: HAVE YOU GOT A FAVOURITE QUOTE OR SAYING?
“Trust the timing of your life”
I believe you have to walk before you can run. I’ve also found that when the time is right, you’ll be in the right place and everything will flow easily. In business, there will always be challenges, so you need to stick with it, review the obstacles and change your perspective if you need to.
Q: HAVE YOU ALWAYS LIVED ON THE BEACHES? WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT LIVING HERE?
I grew up in Cape Town, South Africa and came to Australia with my mum & my sister when I was 13 years old. I grew up on the North Shore, but when I finished studying and started working, I moved to the Northern Beaches. I have lived in Narrabeen and Collaroy for the last 15 years and met my husband here – he’s Freshwater born and bred! I love that my kids have a garden to play in and a beach around the corner. We all love the outdoor lifestyle and having access to amazing picnic spots, great walks and beautiful beaches.
Q: ARE THERE ANY LOCAL BUSINESSES YOU’D LIKE TO SHOUT OUT?
I have literally just found Diversarty, an art studio & gallery in Cromer. She sources local canvases and takes them to the next level – it’s custom quality at a great price. She also does beautiful framing too. For all my art supplies, I also love Riot Art & Craft shop at Warringah Mall. And finally to Drip Coffee Traders – Trev has had some of my art on display and I swap them over every couple of months. I’m so grateful for the exposure!
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