Developing abstract tropical paintings on canvas or silk is a compelling
interest for me - with community involvement in art exhibitions and a
new, shared studio, in Port Douglas, where I live, also competing for my
time...to say nothing of my recent absorption in
building this website
Perhaps I could regard this little expose as a self portrait (of Jill Booth) in words?
Must I put on my spectacles or may I ignore the wrinkles and flaws and make it really hazy and abstract?
Levity aside, you may be interested to know that I have always drawn or painted, encouraged by my parents from a very early
age by (I now suspect) rather exaggerated praise for my efforts.
Anyhow, I believed them, which made it easier to pursue training as an art teacher in Perth, Western Australia.
Various work-related travels followed, fed by an insatiable urge to “follow the sun” and explore Northern Australia.
Travel and work in the "North West", the generalised term for the
Pilbara and Kimberley regions, only helped to intensify my sense of
"belonging" in these often wild areas.
So, next, off to the Northern Territory I went.
In Darwin I met my future husband and we shared many adventures until his death in 2003.
On reflection, Darwin was probably where I explored an interest in abstract tropical paintings and began experimenting with ideas.
Overseas travel and work at various Western Australian locations
followed until, one day we left home. Usually it's the kids who leave,
isn't it, but they were busy with their independent lives.
We had read about the frontier-like beauty of Far North Queensland - so we hitched up our "pop top" caravan and set off on our 12,000 km journey of exploration.
We were so fortunate that our two children eventually followed us. They and their offspring live nearby and seem to also enjoy the laid-back, tropical lifestyle of Far North Queensland.
and there’s a budding artist or two...
Lucinda with Daphne the Donkey
Olivia with Meeow the Cat
Until 2004, we operated a family business, first Mowbray Gallery and then Port Douglas Gallery of Fine Art, where we were privileged to meet many wonderful artists, some of whom became our friends.
Some of these artists form the core of this overview of art in North Queensland, but others will be added as the opportunity arises.
Criteria for inclusion are mostly those relating to professionalism.
My own artwork explores various aspects of the Australian landscape and
is expressed using oils or acrylics as semi abstract or abstract
tropical paintings on canvas or as surface design on textiles, mostly
See also silk painting by Jill Booth.
I frequently work in series, sometimes with the deliberate aim of creating giclee fine art prints, the subject matter usually being chosen from aspects of ocean or rainforest and developed into abstract landscape paintings, often using vibrant colour, perhaps contrasted with a gloomy, dark, rainforest setting.
Colour, form and movement are used to respond to the grandeur, drama or mystery of the wilder parts of the Australian landscape.
It seems that, if one is an artist, one is driven to create and, like most artists, that is when I am happiest.
Of course, family always come first. My daughter, Virginia, remarked recently, in mock exasperation,"Why is it that all of my friends' parents are so busy that we have to make appointments to see them or arrange for them to babysit?"
I expect that might be a sign of the times; my friends seem to be living fulfilling lives.
I had been idly thinking of finding out how to build my own website. I
really knew that I couldn't do it and, from past experience, that it
would be a very expensive undertaking to have someone else build and
maintain one for me.
Somewhere I had heard that it might be possible, so I trawled the internet and found a couple of programmes, which turned out to be a complete waste of time and money.
Then, bingo! I came across Ken Evoy's free, downloadable "Affiliates Masters" course and was hooked! Once I realised that a technically challenged, right brained (mostly) person like me could indeed create a website, I purchased the very inexpensive Site Build-It course.
As well as the knowledge that I could, in time, produce income from the site, the outstanding impression that I had of the programme was its integrity and the generosity of its support for those, like me, on a steep learning curve.
I'm not saying that Art now takes second place to building the sites (I now have three) but Solo Build It is what makes me spring (well that's a relative description) out of bed in the morning and what keeps me fascinated late at night.
If you would like more details of that story click here.
If you would like to keep in touch with events, exhibitions and art related information in FNQ please subscribe to my e-newsletter, "Perspectives".
Also please visit North Queensland Art Events. You are very welcome to add your North Queensland event's details there and to spread the word to others.