Q and A with Rowena Martinich

We asked Rowena some questions about art and life.. read on for a bit of background on her practice. To see Rowena’s work in our current exhibition Flux click here.
1. How and when did you start painting?
I have always been a painter, even as a kid I embraced watercolours and painted flowers out of the garden for my mum. Throughout boarding school the art room was my refuge, and having an enthusiastic art teacher probably encouraged my desire to pursue painting as a career. I studied a BA Hons in Fine Art – Painting (after enduring a degree in Graphic Design) and then further studies completing a Masters in Art – Public Art at RMIT University.
2. What / who inspires you and your work?
I think the potential to help shape people’s experience of a place and space is integral to my reasons for painting. I am highly responsive to colour, whatever form it takes, and I think we all are in some way. So being able to capture someone momentarily with my artwork, for them to take a dive away from the everyday via a painting, that inspires me.
Also, perfecting my techniques through the practice of painting is very rewarding. completing an artwork that nails my backlog of gestural language and slotting that into a series that all speaks and interlaces is a success to me.
3. Do you listen to music or podcasts in the studio?
If I am in need of motivation to get working in the studio, I will play something upbeat which really helps. But often I work in silence, talking myself through the process. The act of painting for me is a constant dialogue of decision making, and a balance between excitement, frustration, anxiety and victory.
4. How has having a child changed your arts practice? 
I think having children just makes you want to do more with less. Each moment in the studio is valuable. You get better at managing your time and being prolific where you can. I am very very lucky to have my mum step up to the task of looking after Finley when I have a lot of work on. I really couldn’t do as much otherwise. My husband Geoffrey is also an artist, so we support each other to get what we both need to – done. You also become a bit more realistic about your workload, and time-lining projects with decent contingencies!
5. Fun fact about you?!
I am discovering my (part-time) true calling as an illustrator of excavators.
install shots by Carli Wilson Photography