Meet five Queensland-based artists we adore, all in celebration of the summery olfactory bliss that is our bursting with fresh juicy pineapple, golden sunsets and creamy coconut Sunshine candle – the scent that was born out of lockdown and our desire to create something uplifting, bright, alive and full of happiness and potential.
The muse behind our Sunshine candle, Skye’s painting ‘Rainbow Gold’ (above) captured us and inspired our free-spirited Sunshine State candle alongside George Essex Evan’s summery poem ‘By the Sea’ (how we love that line, ‘the mystic chants of golden days’).
Skye’s work is expressive, bright and wondrously uplifting. We love the playful, melodic, energy in her brush marks and layers, and we are kind of fascinated by the links and the overlaps between olfactory and visual senses or are we the only ones who can smell paintings?
Raised in Sydney, Skye completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts at the National Art School before relocating her young family to live and work on the Gold Coast. She’s located in Palm Beach on the coast about 10 minutes’ drive to from the Hinterland.
Top: Shy Gold, Above: Abstract Florals, Llewellyn Skye
We see her beautiful, expressive blooms as representative symbols and metaphors with her work being less about capturing a realistic image of floral blooms and more about expressing an emotion or a feeling through evocative brushstrokes and colours.
‘I am totally inspired by life, love and all the emotions – all the ups and downs they bring. Florals in bloom represent all of this to me. They are magical and fleeting, mysterious and fragile and so, so, precious. The use of colour and composition is an important part of the process. We respond to colour on so many levels. I want the viewer to be moved, in whichever way feels right ….’ – Llewellyn Skye
Skye won the Fenton & Fenton Rising Talent and the ALA Abstract Artist prize in 2021 and was the BLA 2018 winner as well as being highly commended in the John Olsen drawing prize. With a strong background in drawing, having shown in over 50 exhibitions and 11 solo shows, Skye is predominately an oil painter, also using acrylics and sprays. We love her ‘drawing hand’ in all her painted works. Beautiful and strong!
They connect me to my past Frogmouth Teapot, Deb Mostert
Mostert’s art practice is 30 years young and involves drawing, painting and lately, a little bit of sculpture. We love her eye for sensitive detail and the way she animates the inanimate.
‘I think the privilege and burden to make something of what I see and share it with others, has grown in urgency in more recent times. In these uncertain days I hope to make work that demonstrates that beauty, grace and truth continue. I am searching for ways to talk about these themes using gentle, offbeat narratives and a crisp aesthetic.’ – Deb Mostert
Mostert completed a Bachelor of Fine Art, Queensland College of Art, Griffith University in 2006 and we are just loving where she’s got to with these gentle, little paintings especially the work from her latest show (last year at Lorraine Pilgrim Gallery) titled ‘Drawing to Dis/Possess’.
Above: Mr Squiggle, top: Antique Tin Clockwork Toy Dog and Kangaroo, Deb Mostert
Mostert says of her thematic ‘I might be able to dis/possess myself of material belongings’….. ‘I am making drawings, sketches, and paintings of things I have, but no longer need, in the hope that through the act of making an ‘iconic transfer’ I can rid myself of possessions.’
For us, the loveliness is in the way Mostert captures the character and narrative of her subjects. The spontaneity of the small oils on linen – love, love, love her Mr Squiggle which have so much heart-felt charm! And we are equally enchanted by the watercolours she produced for the exhibition ‘All Eyes on the Arts’ especially the bird and spoon paintings. Unfussy, perfectly worked, exquisite and poetic. More please!
See more work here.
Minjerribah, Stradbroke Island, Clare Purser
Working predominantly in oils with mixed media on canvas, board and paper, Purser uses photos, notes and sketches as well as site painting as inspiration for her gestural, kinetic and effervescent landscapes.
‘I like painting and drawing plein-air around where I live on Brisbane’s Bayside. I’m interested in creating paintings that are evocative and intuitive and express an emotive reaction to the landscape’.~ Clare Purser
Still working (sometimes) towards a total synergy between expressivity and a completely resolved capture, there is enough vibrancy and storytelling here to draw us in to her unique style with its underplays of deep contrast. There is something gorgeously authentic in her determined strokes and quirky compositions. Purser’s confidence and quickly-does-it style feels immediate in the best possible way. Her careful pared back intuitive palette is also a joy to see and if we have any tiny niggles it would be in that we want to see her move further into the deconstruction and abstraction space that works so well for her. And, we want to see her work on a larger scale (even though we love the feeling of the landscape being constrained by the boundaries of her canvases).
Above: Deadmans Beach, Minjerribah Stradbroke Island l, Top: Mulgumpin, Moreton Island l
Purser holds an Honours degree in Visual Art from the Queensland College of Art, Griffith University and was the recipient of the Brisbane Institute of Art’s Milburn Art Prize in 2016. She also won The Tweed Valley Art Prize for Painting and The Jack McClure Memorial Award in the North Shore Art Awards in Auckland. More recently she was a finalist in the Sunshine Coast Art Awards, Redland Art Awards and Moreton Bay Region Art Awards.
We’re watching you!
More work here.
Coast by Matt James
James is a Brisbane-based graphic designer and painter primarily interested in landscape painting and drawing. He grew up in rural West Wales and his ongoing love of the great outdoors drives his artistic impulse.
‘My paintings are based on pencil and oil sketches created in situ, from photographs, and my recollection of the location. My work represents actual places but is often constructed from memory and my impression of the environment. I am interested in exploring the shape of the landscape, the movement of clouds, the perception of distance, and the shifting of the light.’ – Matt James
Top: Edge, Matt James / Above: Bluster, Matt James
Experimentation with mark-making is important to James’ work. We just love the muted palette and the glossiness of his oils as well as the directional, pared back line work and gentle, watery reflections. Like all the best landscape painters, there’s a confidence in his decisive brush work and a mystery and emotionality imbued within each scene. There’s a mastery, a subtlety. We just love!
‘I use brushes and palette knife strokes to represent direction, movement and focus to influence how the audience views the work. Contrasts in paint texture and thickness add visual interest and allow me to move between figurative and abstract representation’.
More work here.
Taking A Road Trip, Kate Pittas
Another Brisbane based artist in love with the landscapes of Australia is Kate Pittas. She often draws on past travels & experiences to create landscapes with a sense of nostalgia & romanticism. Kate has a lifelong love affair with colour & believes it is her superpower. After studying Fine Arts and teaching for 10 years, Pittas is finally allowing herself to paint fulltime, creating evocative & highly expressive pieces which she sells as either prints or original acrylic paintings including smaller works on paper.
‘Her approach is semi abstract, with a focus on capturing the movement & energy of the plants along with the mood & atmosphere of each season. Kate is influenced by her love of being outdoors, immersed in nature & often paints at an easel set up in the garden.’ – artedit.com
For us the charm in these light-filled, instinctual works is in the free flowing, gestural line work and the iridescent, sometimes neon pastel colour palette which is so quirky and unexpected. Trees and clouds seem to dance off the canvas, lilacs, aquas, rusts and golds converge to create a musicality and a buoyant visual lyricism.
Above: Bright Spark / Top: Lakeside Dreaming, Kate Pittas
Pittas was the co-founder of ‘Art for Bales’, raising funds for drought affected farmers and she’s serious about the concept of art activism and using her passion & creative talents for a greater cause. And that makes us love her even more!
More work here.