After completing a Fine Art Degree in Gold and Silversmithing, Stacey spent 12 years designing bespoke jewellery, eventually opening a small store and workshop in Melbourne’s inner city suburb of Kensington. But after the birth of daughter number three, her art practice was homeward bound and after daughter number five, her creativity was nurtured by knitting, drawing, writing and painting.
“Making jewellery at home with five little ones around just became too hard and to be honest I probably always preferred the designing and sketching over the actual making. Amongst the chaos of family life were scattered reminders of my need to keep up some sort of creative practice. Knitted blankets, needle felted animals, mosaic pots and funny little portraits of my girls…there was stuff everywhere.”
Now that her daughters are in their teens, Stacey’s garden studio provides her with the idyllic space to paint what she has always loved; the Australian landscape. Spending time in the bush alone, she fills her sketchbooks with drawings and ideas.
“There is a quiet and a peace that descends when I sit at my little camp table, watercolours and a thermos of tea at hand. Nothing but the sounds of nature, it’s a calm I can’t quite describe but I know I need. I hope this is reflected in my paintings. My still-life work is simply of the smaller everyday things, the crockery of my 70’s childhood and the familiar bits and pieces that remind me of home.”
Light and colour are so fleeting when painting outdoors. I use mainly watercolour, gouache and pencil to gather the information I need. Back in my studio I am painting on linen predominantly in oils these days and by using certain mediums, trying to replicate that soft wash of colour and simple marks that I captured outside. I draw into the paint using pastels, again, referring to the marks I made in my initial sketches.
The Otway Ranges, the Surf Coast (Victoria) and the You Yangs National Park are some of my favourite places to find inspiration. Another beautiful, but quite different, landscape is that of the Goulburn Valley in Northern Victoria, where my husband and I have been growing walnuts for the past 20 years. There is such a richness of shapes and colour, particularly in Spring, and the light around dusk is amazing.
To see a full listing of Stacey’s work click here.