1. What part of the process of creating art do you like best?
When I am immersed in the process of painting, and am able to respond to unexpected developments that arise, and then the Universe takes over in developing further the emerging images.
2. What is your working environment like?
There is always music playing in the background to create a peaceful or stimulating environment, in amongst the chaos of the paints and equipment in my lounge room - (which has now become my ‘studio’).
3. What kind of (formal & informal) art training have you had?
I started watercolour painting in Sweden, and then studied Chinese watercolour in the Lingnan style for 6 years, and calligraphy. Then I attended workshops and classes in watercolour, including with Margaret Cowling, then monthly workshops with Margery Hummell Bennett - to explore mixed media and contemporary art, and classes with Michelangelo Russo.
4. How has your art training affected the kind of art you produce?
Following my training in the Lingnan style of Chinese painting, there is an oriental influence often seen in my paintings. Through the freedom offered with mixed media and contemporary art, I have let go of the formal approach of my earlier training, and continue my journey exploring new ideas.
5. Name some important influences and inspirations in your art career.
Discussions with my late husband, Giorgio, inspired and influenced me with his constructive comments and criticism. Attending workshops with dedicated artists has encouraged me to assess my work and explore new ideas. Some important influences in my art include my interest in, and studying of philosophy, the exploration of my inner self, and the appreciation of the beauty of nature. Images that have a strong connection with Mother earth and spirituality emerged following a deep experience I had when I was invited to attend an Aboriginal Women's ceremony in the Central desert, and experienced the wisdom of the Pitjantjatjara elders.
6. What has been the most difficult thing you have encountered in your work?
Learning to trust my inner judgement in assessing my work, and knowing when a painting is either finished, or it is not developing to my satisfaction, and it is time stop at that point - and maybe revisit it at a later date.
7. Have there been major turning points in your art career?
My early training was in Chinese watercolour, and after 6 years exploring this approach I realised that I needed to follow my own path and own culture. I moved away from this style, and have continued to change and develop my own style as an intuitive abstract artist, as I explore different media and have been through different life experiences.
8. What has been the highlight of your art career?
When St. Vincent's Hospital acquired 36 of my paintings for the opening of their new rehabilitation building, and those paintings are now part of St. Vincent's permanent collection.
Everything Changes, 103 x 76 cm, Acrylic, by Rosemary Mangiamele