Redland City Bulletin – July 20, 2015
Artist Anita West, of Birkdale, enjoys painting on large canvas and often works on two paintings at a time. Photo by Chris McCormack
ANITA West loves the Australian landscape and if it wasn’t for her love of art she would be working in the Australian outback.
A mid-career artist, Anita has had exhibitions in the Trevor Victor Art Gallery in Sydney since 2008 and at this year’s recent show every painting sold.
From a young age Anita knew she wanted to be an artist.
“I really thought I was going to choose art as a career in grade 10,” she said.
“My only other option was that I wanted to work on the land and that is why I paint landscapes, I think.
Her inspiration comes from the great Australian landscape.
“What I am trying to do is paint how I feel when I am in the bush,” she said.
“It’s the whole idea of getting out in the landscape and I think that there is something really fundamental that connects us back.
“I am not doing something that is entirely representational and not something that is entirely abstract.
“They are entirely invented. Even though I might go into a landscape and make lots of drawings of the different plants that are there, I come back to the studio and put it together in a way that suggests not just where the place is, but the mood of the place and the mood I am in while in that place.”
Anita said she often worked on two pieces at once.
“I will have one set up and I often work in pairs and if I can’t resolve a piece I will put it aside and work on another piece,” she said.
“For me the challenge is resolving a piece of work and bringing it to a conclusion.”
Some of her best work came from a mistake she made on the canvas.
“Most of them are built on mistakes,” she said.
“You have to be really conscious of the magic that happens when you make mistakes and then they don’t become mistakes anymore.”
Although her art has been a lifelong passion, Anita said it was important to pursue other passions.
In her spare time Anita took Latin, swing and zouk dance lessons at the Redlands Sporting Club and the Wellington Point Community Hall.
“I think it is important to get that distance because if you get too engrossed or buried in a passion it can become stale or you get too caught up in it,” she said.
Her dream would be to have an exhibition in a big public gallery, such as the Queensland Art Gallery, and her ultimate goal would be to have an art career that spanned a lifetime, like Margaret Olley’s.