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  • Writer's pictureNicole Upchurch

Beth Kennedy: Step into the vibrant world where abstract art blossoms.

Updated: Jun 18, 2023

Adaro Art introduces a unique new artist, Beth Kennedy, to the gallery. Within her work, you will see a lovely collage of florals, patterns, and colors inspired by her time pursuing her Bachelors in Visual Arts where she fell in love with Japanese block art. Beth used her passion for florals, patterns, and the color pink to create her unique form of abstract pieces, where her talent and innovative style are highly recognized. With her love for color, she chooses lovely pastel shades of pink, which she has been in love with ever since she was a little girl. While interviewing her, she told me stories from childhood when she remembers being covered in pink from head to toe. "I have always loved pink especially. There are these hilarious photos of me as a kid, and I am top to toe in pink. My bike is pink, my helmet is pink, the socks are pink, the bike shorts are pink, the shirts are pink, it's all pink." When asked what brings Beth the most joy, she said, "I love

pattern, and I love color. I love having it around me." Beth is not the only one who feels this way. As others admire her work, they long for that same feeling of joy. Thankfully for us, she has made this possible, and at Adaro Art, we are happy to be able to share her work with you.

Beth: I am from New South Whales in the southeast of Australia. I spent some time in Canberra, where I did my Bachelor of Visual Arts and met my husband. Then we moved to Brisbane, and we have been here ever since. It has been about fifteen years now.

Nicole: That is amazing, so how did you get to know Brooke and Fran from Adaro Art?

Beth: Brooke from Adaro Art reached out to me via Instagram, said she liked my color technique, and asked if I would be interested in being represented by her gallery. So, of course, I was very excited about this opportunity. So since then, I have been working on a collection of paintings for the Adaro Art Gallery, and it has been very nice working on this collection of paintings. It is a collection of six, and I am working on the sixth one now. Which has been really great and super enjoyable.

Nicole: Well, your look is super beautiful, and it fits everything we are doing at Adaro, so I understand why Brooke reached out.

Nicole: At what age did you start to acknowledge your artistic abilities?

Beth: I enjoyed drawing as a kid, but it was in high school that I realized I didn't only love to draw and paint but that I was good at it. I started entering competitions and got good feedback. So, around sixteen, I decided I wanted to be a painter and worked hard toward that goal. It was easy because I enjoyed art in high school and had a good teacher. He was excellent, and I started to think that I might like to do it professionally and what that would look like in pursuing that path forward.

Nicole: That's super refreshing. Many artists start later in life, and it is nice to hear a story like yours. It is super encouraging for people who see you now, knowing they are just starting as an artist and they can see who they can one day become. Also, having that confidence to put yourself out there and see your work transform into what it is is amazing to see how far you have come.

Beth: It has certainly been a journey.

Nicole: You are doing amazing things. What has influenced your artwork the most?

Beth: That teacher initially. He was very encouraging and technically proficient. I did a TAFE course that was refreshing differently because it was very experimental and relaxed, and it was a lot of life drawing. It was there that I realized how much I love life drawing. So I did TAFE and then University after that, so there was a mix between traditional teaching at University and more experimental at Tafe. Still, this pull was always towards beautiful and decorative things, even at art school. Also color, color has always been something that I love. I love it. It has always been one of those things, so that has also played a big part.

Nicole: Did you say it was a life drawing? Can you explain what that is?

Beth: Life drawing is drawing from the model. So nude modeling. Male or female. So I also did that at art school; it is an excellent way to learn how to draw. It takes work to get the proportions right and things like that. So it's a really good way to discover new drawing skills.

Nicole: Working with other people and drawing the human body is beauty in itself. I can also tell that, mentioning your love for decorative work and seeing your work. It is very beautiful.

Beth: Thank you.

Nicole: Of course, yeah. So, I assume you probably had some inspirations in your life. So who has been your greatest inspiration as an artist?

Beth: So since art school, I have liked Édouard Vuillard, a French painter. He was around the time of the impressionists. But his work was very inspired by Japanese block prints. He was very interested in this idea of flattening the space, and so, for me, that was big in art school. This idea of flattening the plane and the space and incorporating patterns and detail. So that was a big one. But also Like I love the detail of Del Kathryn Barton. If you know her work, it is a very large scale, it can be pretty erotic, and it has a lot of detail and a lot of colors.

Nicole: I can see that now after you describe it and look at your artwork. It is cool how you can take things from different artists to find who you are and create your style. I want to go back to your teacher. Was he a significant influence as well? Overall?

Beth: Yeah, I had a really good high school teacher. He was great. And I had good teachers all through TAFE. They were really good and very encouraging. I was young and was straight out of high school, and I wanted to get a portfolio of work to approach universities. So I have always been focused on what I am doing. I was working a couple of jobs and going to TAFE because I wanted a Certificate in Fine Arts and to have this body of work. This was a significant influence on me early on. Art school was good and it was a lot of work. It can be brutal. It was quite a different environment from what I had had at TAFE, which was caring and nurturing. Whereas university was none of those things. It was very academically focused, and the teachers could be quite intimidating. That was good. You have to have pretty tough skin to do this as well. You can't be too precious, and you have to be able to take knockbacks and things like that. So that was probably quite good practice early on. Just be able to confidently express yourself, what you are doing, and why you are doing it.

Nicole: Whenever someone is trying to put themselves out there, start something for themselves but also has to work, then take criticism from school, it is one of the most challenging times of people's lives. It is a lot. See what your work has become after you have gone through all that. It is amazing.

Beth: You have to not take yourself too seriously.

Nicole: So this is always one of my favorite questions. If you could choose one word to describe your artwork, what would it be and why?

Beth: Let's think... Joyful for me, color feeds into that. Color makes me feel joy. I love when people say to me "Your work make me smile. I see it on my wall, and it makes me smile". So it would be joyful.

Nicole: I can see the joy in your work, and that's the whole point of art, right? Making someone's day because you never know who it will touch. I am very interested in learning more about your love for color. What is it about color? Is it the fact that it does bring me so much joy? Is it because it brings so much fun to yourself? Other people?

Beth: I think both. I have always loved color. I have always loved pink especially. There are these hilarious photos of me as a kid, and I am top to toe in pink. My bike is pink, my helmet is pink, the socks are pink, the bike shorts are pink, my shirt is pink, it's all pink. So I was obsessed with pink as a kid, and then I branched out into other colors as I got older and needed a little break from pink. But I am indeed back to embracing it now. Some people prefer a more neutral palette, but I love the color. I like it in my home space. Not overwhelmingly so, but I like it around me, in my clothes and at home. I like patterns. It's one of those innate things. It is just that I have always enjoyed it.

Nicole: From what I have seen, you apply the color well. And your patterns and the way you mix your colors are manageable. It is super comforting. To me, it brings joy, but it also just brings comfort. I have never been a huge pink person, but I love the pink color you use. It is calming and peaceful.

Beth: Yeah, you have to balance it.

Nicole: Yes, what is the significance of art in your personal life?

Beth: That is a big one because I would do art even if I wasn't making any money from it. It is just something that I need to do. It is something I love to do. I miss it if I don't do it for a while. It is significant in that it is just part of who I am. You know, musicians need to play. As for me, I need to paint. It is essential from that point of view. It is important because I have been able to make a career from it. It is essential from my family's point of view because it means I can have a flexible schedule to pick my kids up from school and drop them off and take them to sports and be here after school so I can hear about their days and still have time to do what I need to do.

Nicole: It is super important, and it is the dream, right? That's what everyone wants.

Beth: It is like a dream to have that balance. And it can be challenging, and it can be tiring, but I am very grateful.

Nicole: Well, that is amazing because you are doing good things for everyone who sees your artwork, but overall, it fits your life and has worked out well for you and your family.

Beth: It is amazing as I am very aware. This is what I do. I sit and paint. I am living the dream.

Nicole: It is so meaningful. It's not like you are just living your dream and making money from something that means little. It's like you say you are living the dream and doing precisely what you love and have worked for. I get to be with my family, make money, express myself, and do good for humanity. You know, that's beautiful? People love to hear those stories. It is so enlightening and motivating.

Beth: Yes, thank you. Well said.

You can see Beth's latest pieces on our website or by visiting the gallery at 21 Hub Lane Watersound, Florida, 32461.


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