Berry Artist of the Week - JANINE CAIRNES

How long have you been an artist?

Much longer than I thought! I initially went to some oil painting classes run by a local lady, probably in the 1970’s, but combining this with school canteens, kindy, part time work etc. found I never had time to do anything between classes and the teacher disowned me! One lady in the class took me under her wing and we went plein air painting a few times, but in the end, it was too difficult, and I quit.

Then, around 1990 I saw an Ad for a watercolour workshop in Yallingup run by an artist of whom I had heard, booked in, and the rest is history. I am basically self-taught but with input from those workshops I have attended over the years in order to watch and learn techniques. I would say I really started painting around 1993 after I retired, so that makes it 26 years.

Have you entered any competitions or exhibitions? If so which ones?

For many years I have regularly entered local charitable exhibitions such as Army Art, various Rotary Exhibitions, The Royal Show, St Mark’s Anglican School, Bunbury Catholic College, Hale School, Churchlands Senior High School, to name a few. I Have also been involved in Exhibitions run by the various art groups to which I still belong, or previously belonged. The Watercolour Society of WA; WA Society of Arts; Wanneroo Art Society; City Beach Art Group; Watercolour Wheel Artists.


2000, September Solo - Pilbara Reflections, Pilbara Fine Art, Karratha

2001, April Old Bakery, Maylands, Joint

2001, August Spice of Life, Houghtons Winery, Joint

2002, January Days of Wine and Roses, Houghtons Winery, Joint

2002, October Valley Connections, Lyndon Gallery Swan Valley, Joint

2004, September Elements of Nature, Inside Out Design Mt Pleasant, Joint

2005, July Visions of Six, Old George Gallery, East Fremantle, Joint

2007, September Brushing up on the Swan, Midland Bank Gallery, Joint

2009, September Solo – Monet Gallery, Guildford

2012, February Solo – Cambridge Council, Floreat Forum

2012, April Bakers Dozen - Old Bakery, Maylands, Joint

2013 Solo – Wills Domain Winery

2018, October Variety & Colour, Guildfords Potters Gallery, Joint

What do you love about art? What is your motivation?

I am inspired and motivated by the world around me and at any given time, being it driving in my car, walking, or whatever, I will see something such as a bird, flower, trees, the moods of the ocean, even the shape of clouds, and most of all colour, and I am inspired to put paint to paper.

How would you describe your style?

I would say that I am a representational artist. I love impressionism and would dearly love to paint in that manner ……keep trying!

Who/what are your influences?

Early on I was greatly inspired by local artist, Larry Mitchell, who taught me to love the ocean. He no longer paints watercolour. I am also inspired by David Taylor, Ev Hales, Joseph Zbukvic, all Australian. Many foreign watercolourists as well.

What are some of your favourite personal works?

Not necessarily my best, but which mean the most to me, i.e. my grandchildren and some paintings of subjects where I have had some wonderful experiences, i.e. a most meaningful visit to Oman. To me, much better than a photographic reference.

What is your creative process?

I always start with a thumbnail sketch to work out my painting. I roughly sketch on my paper and generally paint the focal point first, finishing off with my background, which frequently means I mess up the process! I do build up layers of transparent washes, rather than go right in with the darkest darks. I find strong contrasts, i.e. the darkest darks and the lightest lights work best, although I frequently lose this! I enjoy working wet-in-wet.

What are your goals (if any)?

To continue to enjoy what I am doing for as long as I am able. I have been fortunate over my painting years to enjoy some success in that people have forked out cash to buy my paintings, which is the ultimate compliment. This has also assisted me in making several journeys overseas in order to paint. I paint for myself and find it a most enthralling, all embracing, therapeutic and satisfying hobby, but at the same time those that own my paintings also own a little of my soul.


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