Curriculum Vitae as a story
I always intended to continue with my art practice. However, somehow, life gets in the way. I have always drawn, painted and made art of some sort. I teach art, and have done this for over 30 years. My undergraduate degree was Bachelor of Education Art and Crafts. It was a great course at Melbourne State College and encompassed every studio area. I don’t believe that there is anything currently offered in Art Education that is as rigorous and comprehensive. I loved every minute of it, it was the best time.
This degree prepared me to teach Art, in its various forms. Firstly in a secondary school, where I coordinated both Art and Graphic Communication and taught VCE classes in Art and Studio Arts, then in a series of private schools and currently in the state school system where I teach primary school Art in two locations, (Wantirna Primary School and Spring Parks Primary School).
Throughout my teaching career I have extended the idea of classroom teaching to incorporate large scale, outdoor, student focussed work. Often in the form of murals these works started at Maroondah Secondary College where I encouraged several of the students to explore the idea of large scale mural painting. The Lion Park Project was the first piece which incorporated a mural wrapped around four walls and garden beds. This was followed by two other pieces at the school. While at Ruyton Girls’ School I created a mural with the Junior School girls that went up to the Library via a staircase. It was a challenging shape and we constructed it using felt and mixed media, it incorporated the school mascot animals and two girls in real school uniform, reading real books under the Moreton Bay Fig. At Wantirna Primary School I have implemented many and varied projects involving commemorative pieces such as The Tree of Knowledge, The Chook Shed and our Fantasy Playground. We are currently making mosaic sculptures to place amongst the garden beds. The children are engaged and very receptive to this type of work. At Spring Parks Primary School I am currently working on an art garden which incorporates sculpture made by the students. Last year I worked with students on The Student Voice Project supported by Greater Dandenong Council. Large scale murals designed by the students were painting and are now situated around the school grounds. My Art room is a vibrant place where the children’s imaginations are fed while they are instructed in techniques that foster success.
I have always drawn, painted and made art. Often there have been long absences where I haven’t produced a great deal but these have become shorter and shorter over recent times. I attend life drawing and portrait sessions at my local art society which gives me inexpensive access to models. I have also attended Dr Sketchy’s Anti Art School which has been a really fun way to access interesting models in a fantastic environment. I find the more I do the more understanding I achieve. The ‘doing’ part is the ‘instruction’.
My method of working is on sturdy boards that I like to attack! I work quickly in acrylics. It is emotional and painterly. I don’t believe that painting is dead. Anyone who loves the paint understands this. It is so malleable and sensuous. I like it to be simple and I find the shapes and I try to keep them pure. I have a distinct style and I think that I am improving all the time. I want the opportunity to further my learning. I am also keen to work across media. I like the idea of artworks sitting side by side and being linked by the artistic intention. To be able to pick that they are mine due to a ‘style’ that I have developed makes my work accessible and worthwhile. I don’t want my work to be inaccessible or aloof. I want it to be appreciated because it resounds with people. The appreciation of something that I have created is the best feeling.