This week we peep through the keyhole at the practice of Alicia Douglas, an artist from Sydney. Alicia’s current works particularly resonate with me as they are of Scotland and speak to my heritage. My grandfather came to Australia from Scotland, my father played the bagpipes and as child I learnt highland dancing. While I never had the chance to know my grandfather (he died before I was born) my grandmother had all these wonderful images of Scotland, Highland Cattle and purple heather.
Tell me a bit about yourself and your creative practice.
Growing up on the Central coast of NSW, I have always been inspired by the beautiful coastal landscapes. I began oil painting at around 10 years of age, and I haven’t stopped since. In 1999 I completed an Advanced Diploma of Fine Art, and then a Bachelor of Fine Art (Honours) in 2002 with a focus on painting.
Over the past sixteen or so years I have been involved in a variety of exhibitions, both group and solo. Currently I work from a studio in Sydney and I am still greatly inspired by the beautiful landscapes close to home as well as enjoying inspiration from faraway lands.
I hear you have an upcoming exhibition?
Space & Silence opens on the 30 August at Gaffa Gallery in Sydney. It is a series of oil paintings I painted in response to a trip to the UK, in particular my travels in the Scottish Highlands. An inspiring region that is vast, yet tranquil. The works are all the same height around the gallery walls, and give the viewer an opportunity to be immersed in the Highlands of Scotland.
What is your genre/medium?
I am mostly a landscape painter, working in gouache, oil and watercolour.
What is your first memory of being creative?
When I was young I remember always loving illustrating school assignments. I cared a lot more about making things look nice rather than the written content!
Who or what inspires you?
The landscape is my greatest inspiration, but I am also inspired by the special people in my life, music and the experiences of life. I love the immediacy of painting outside where you can capture the real feeling of being in the landscape.
Is there anything special you do to get into the right mindset and get the creative juices flowing?
I can’t really think of anything; however I find sometimes music is a great motivational tool!
How do you deal with creativity blocks?
I just know that they won’t last forever, and go and put my energies into some other activity. I find it always comes back!
What is one tip you would give other creatives?
If you have that creative seed inside you, never ignore it.
What is your favourite, colour, book, song, food and place?
Only one favourite colour! I have two – turquoise and emerald. My favourite book is A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle and as for music, dreamy alternative folk rock – I don’t think that is a genre, but it sums up my musical taste. Favourite food pizza, of course, and I love and am inspired by the United Kingdom.
I appreciate Alicia taking time out to talk to me, especially as when she is in the middle of preparing for her exhibition at Gaffa.
If you would like to get up close and personal with her work, the exhibition is on from the 30th August to the 10th September 2018 at Gaffa Gallery, 281 Clarence Street, Sydney, check the website for times.