I have always drawn, painted and created. Born in Adelaide and having spent several of my younger years in the Alpine region of north-east regional Victoria, my inspirations include those childhood memories, a love of colour and pattern, and the bushland close to my present home in the Adelaide Hills of South Australia.
I'm a keen observer and the landscape reveals wonderful, unexpected micro-worlds of leaves, fungi, mosses, fallen bark, seeds, nuts, flowers and weeds. Always fascinated by each individual shape and pattern of growth - the imperfect symmetry is what I try to capture in my paintings.
I like to interpret the details - environments that I physically explore, enjoy and feel connected to. I don’t intentionally invent imaginary flora and fauna, rather I look for hidden forms and shapes. The real and the decorative are then merged to evoke a sense of place. There is nothing of the dark and tortured in my paintings. I choose to engage with natures' beauty and contemplate my existence within it.
Bird-life, animals, plants, trees, sky and waterways all play a part - and this combined with my interest in textiles and pattern design has created my current interpretational style of painting. The overall relationship that exists between colour, pattern, shape and repetition is important as I intuitively strive for a sense of visual harmony.
Graphic art training has given me an appreciation for pattern design and I am particularly interested in motifs found in traditional visual arts, textiles and architecture from around the world. My own sketchbooks are full of doodles, mark-making and oddities, that eventually find their way into my work. I might render a few simple drawings before I start painting. I call these 'maps', basic guides that allow room for the merging of ideas in my mind before the elements develop on the canvas.
I don't feel hindered by any artistic notions of right or wrong but rather I take great joy in following my own path. One important aspiration is to always paint, explore and be true to my intuition. Experiencing the intrinsic process of painting affords me moments away from the worries of everyday life - where I am totally immersed, expressing my vision and creating something that didn't exist before - something from my heart.
© Rebecca Cooke. All Rights Reserved.