We’ve profiled many artists but it’s not often that we find one that was convinced of their career path as a child. “When I was about 16, I decided that I wanted to be a painter. I’d always loved to paint and draw and was loving my art classes in high school. I never wanted to do anything else,” says Brisbane artist Beth Kennedy who went on to study a Bachelor of Visual Arts at the Australian National University.
After graduating, numerous group and solo exhibitions followed (Beth still exhibits at Anthea Polson Art Gallery on the Gold Coast), as did a number of magazine appearances. Beth’s work has appeared in Australian House & Garden and Belle magazine amongst others. For the last couple of years, she has been represented by Greenhouse Interiors who sell her original framed paintings and limited edition prints. “It’s been wonderful to be a part of such a dynamic, supportive and colour-loving group,” says Beth.
When it comes to her practice, Beth loves working with acrylic paint, gouache, watercolour, liquid acrylic and ink. She always starts by drawing from life before enlarging the image onto canvas and ‘washing in’ the image. “My paintings do seem to have minds of their own, quite often taking directions that I hadn’t anticipated – the ‘happy accidents’ that occur when I’m painting are all part of it for me and quite often my favourite parts of the painting,” says Beth.
Beth’s latest body of work is about the light and shade in life; loss, betrayal, acceptance and love. “There’s always an emotional narrative driving the painting – my stories and the stories of those around me. My paintings are layered labours of love; opaque areas of paint, patterns and lines all dance in and around each other as the paintings come to life,” says Beth.
Beth’s influences are a disparate bunch – she’s particularly inspired by Australian artists Del Kathryn Barton and Cressida Campell as well as Japanese woodblock prints. “The flattening of the image has intrigued me since I was a student,” says Beth who turns to interiors magazines, fabrics and wallpapers for inspiration too.
“Also, I love a pop of neon, usually hot pink! To this and other shades of pink, I add blues, greens, oranges and black.”
Photography: Mindi Cooke | Styling: Antler & Moss and Debbie Lymbery