Elouise Roberts is the next exhibitor at Gallery 126. This exhibit is titled “Familiar Places” and runs from the 24th July (opening at 5pm) until August 29th.
How long have you lived in the area?
I moved to Armidale with my family from the Northern Territory 22 years ago and have lived here off and on since then. I spent time away at Newcastle University, where I gained a Fine Arts Degree and Diploma of Education. After that I had a couple of years travelling and working overseas. About a year ago I returned to Armidale after completing further study in Textile Design and then working as a textile designer. Now that I am back, I am really enjoying the slower paced, relaxed lifestyle that we are so fortunate to have here in Armidale. I always missed the distinct New England seasons and unique landscapes whenever I have been away, so it is nice to be back.
Describe the type of artwork you specialise in?
I mostly paint or draw landscapes – they have been the subject of my previous three exhibitions at Gallery 126. I like to use a variety of media, such as oil paint, watercolours and pens. My work tends more towards realism. I particularly like to paint landscapes with clouds, as they can provide a lot of atmosphere and mood.
For this exhibition, titled Familiar Places, I have focused on local landscapes, mostly places I walk such as Black Gully Reserve and the Pine Forest. I often take pictures to refer to later in the studio, as painting outside is not a practical option for my style of working. I work quite slowly, building up detail with each layer. While photography can be a useful tool, I try not to become too concerned with depicting everything in the photo; I sometimes edit some elements out and like to enhance colours to develop the atmosphere. I find painting a constant challenge, and I am always striving to be better.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I gain inspiration from many places, such as local exhibitions, blogs and books. I am always inspired by visits to NERAM, where I can see beautiful works from the Hinton Collection. It is great to see how artists such as Arthur Streeton, Elioth Gruner and Tom Roberts depicted the Australian landscape. Their use of colour and the way they captured light is very inspiring, and you can imagine being there in the scene.
Nature itself is probably my greatest inspiration; if ever I need a new subject for a painting, I don’t have to go very far to find it. I think we are very lucky here in Armidale that we have lots of natural beauty around us.
Other than your artworks, what are your other interests?
When I am not painting, I love to be outside, walking the dog or gardening. I am also interested in interior decoration and design; I like to keep up with new styles and trends in the industry. Cooking for friends and family is also something that I really enjoy.
When is your exhibition at Gallery 126, and what can people expect to see?
The exhibition runs from the 24th July (opening at 5pm) until August 29th.
People who have been to my previous exhibitions will see work featuring the style and mood they are familiar with. I have been working on larger canvases, which is something I haven’t done for a while. There will also be some smaller mixed media paintings on boards and detailed pen drawings on paper. For myself, I am looking at this exhibition as a way of reacquainting myself with the local community. My hope is that people will come along and connect with landscapes they are familiar with.