Bronwyn Barton - Featured 'Founding ArterNet Art Member' FAM Artist

Sienna Swirl - 200cm x 100cm

Bronwyn Barton

This week it's a pleasure to welcome Australian artist, Bronwyn Barton a 

'Founding ArterNet Art Member' a FAM

Bronwyn moved to the Sunshine Coast, Queensland in 2015 and it gave her the opportunity to focus on her art practice full time. It didn’t take long for the environment to influence her art. 
‘The plants here are colourful and flamboyant, structural with bold personalities. The bush is thick and luscious, I watch the plants jostling with each other as they dance in the breeze. My artworks are a response to the positive and negative shapes, the textures, lines, shadows and reflections I see around me.'

In addition to her botanical works, Bronwyn loves to change things up a bit and introduce more geometric and non objective shapes into her work. She is drawn to pattern and repetition and these concepts can be seen in her more quirky abstracts and Still Life pieces. Her aim is to convey movement, complexity of colour and expressive marks and this all culminates in works that are striking from a distance but provide the viewer with so much more when they get up close.

ArterNet Art:   Bronwyn, it's great to have you here as a 'FAM' member on our blog today. I'm a big fan of your work and I know you have art classes in Noosa, one of my favourite places on the Sunshine Coast, so I've put it on my list to attend, once the world gets back to normal. 

Can you give our readers an idea of your route to becoming an artist?

I started my art journey relatively late in life. After leaving my full time job in administration, it gave me the opportunity to pursue some creative outlets including mosaics, printmaking and painting. 
Picking up a paintbrush and sloshing paint around back then was the beginning of a love affair for me, where time passes in the blink of an eye. It transports me away from the ordinariness of every day life, where I can express my creative self.

Cloudburst - 76cm x 76cm

ArterNet Art: Have you had to overcome any difficulties or major hurdles on your journey to becoming the successful, established artist we see today.

Bronwyn: My biggest hurdle is the good old ‘imposter syndrome’. Being largely self taught, I'm often confronted by that voice in my head saying ‘You're not qualified to be a successful artist! Any success you're having is a fluke!’ Those days when things are not quite working are prime time for the imposter voice to rear her ugly head. On these days I now know to trust my process even more, reflect on past favourite artworks, even remind myself of a recent sale and this helps me to block out the noise and soldier on.

ArterNet Art: Yes, we have all suffered, at some stage, with stuff in our head. What or who were your early influences?

In my early years of painting I was a sponge for information and loved taking workshops. One tutor in particular, Judith White, was a catalyst for my desire to paint expressively and abstractly. I don’t use her technique of collage but her technique of layering to create depth in a painting really resonates with me.

ArterNet Art: Tell us about the medium you have chosen to work with and what was it that attracted you to use it?

I’ve used lots of different art mediums, from watercolour, oil and cold wax, but I love acrylic paint for a number of reasons. Its relatively fast drying which means its perfect for intuitive painting. 
I can paint many layers in a short period of time, opaque or translucent. Its fabulous for the techniques I adopt for mark making - I can scratch back into it, draw on it, I love to lift the wet paint back off with tissue paper to reveal the underlying colour.

'She talks to Rainbows' 105 x 105cm

ArterNet Art: Do you have a daily routine? Has it always been this way and can you tell our readers how your day looks?

Only on my teaching days. I have to be organised on these days ensuring the studio is ready for students to paint. I like them to have as much space as possible so they don’t feel hemmed in. I paint along with the students using my own paintings to demonstrate techniques and principles. Breakfast time is when I browse social media and probably linger far too long with coffee in hand.
My painting days can be quite relaxed with me just reacting to my mood or they can be full on where I’m so involved in what I'm doing, I don’t even realise the day has gone and night-time has arrived. 
I’m not a great one for using a sketchbook and so most of my experimentation is done directly onto the canvas. I do like to tape off paper and just play around when working on a painting doesn’t fit my mood. Alternatively, working on 30cm square boards or canvasses is my sketchbook equivalent.

ArterNet Art: It's always interesting to see how other artist's work. Can you share some insights into your process from conception to creation.

Step 1: Layering and making marks

Step 2: Continuing layering and mark making 
but also concentrating on making shapes. 
I make a lot of my shapes by painting the negative area. 
You’ll also see that I rotated the canvas after 
this stage which is something I do often 
as I’m working out my ultimate composition.

Final ‘Tangle and Bloom’ 100cm x 100cm

I very rarely have a composition in mind when I start an artwork. I commence by layering pigment and making marks. I love line whether its painted, scratched into, drawn with crayon or oil pastel. It might be full of energy or slow and meandering.
Often when I'm not sure what I want to do next, I’ll grab a crayon and just ‘doodle’. 
As I add layer upon layer, shapes emerge that trigger the next move. 
Its a constant act and respond, add and subtract. Initially I work quite quickly, but as the composition emerges my moves become more considered and so the pace slows. Ultimately, its like solving a puzzle, getting the right balance of structure amongst the chaos of expressiveness.

ArterNet Art: How has your work developed since you began and how do you see it evolving in the future?

When I first started painting, I tended to paint realistically but knew I wanted to move toward more abstract work. Confidence is a big thing when it comes to painting and having the confidence to just paint and not care about the result has seen me make the biggest leap in my art. 
I hope my art will always be evolving, I don’t want to be painting the same things all the time. 
I’d really like to paint more non objective abstracts.

ArterNet Art: Is there anything in particular that inspires you to create art?

I look at things differently since I started painting. It doesn’t mater how mundane something is, I look at it in terms of shapes, the positive and the negative. 
I’m always looking at how I can make something look a bit quirky or mysterious, how to give life to an inanimate object.

ArterNet Art: What has been your favourite or most memorable art sale?

I’m not sure I have a favourite, all sales are exciting to me. I’m always amazed and humbled when something that I've created resonates with others and even more so when they want to have it in their home.

'Little Fires Everywhere' 101 x 101cm

ArterNet Art: How have you and your art business been impacted by Covid-19? Has much changed since that time?

To a large extent, I think Covid-19 helped my art business. On two separate occasions my husband was in Sydney for work commitments and got caught in lockdowns. 
I was home alone in Queensland for several months each time and so the studio was my sanctuary, I created lots of work. My artworks are mostly purchased by homeowners and for many people the last two years has been a time of investing savings into their home, redecorating the places that they were spending a whole lot more of their time in.
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ArterNet Member'
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ArterNet Art: Can you share some tips on how you marketed yourself, when you first started out. Do you have a couple of things you tried that worked amazingly well?

To be honest, I think I fall a fair way short when it comes to marketing myself. I've had success with Bluethumb On Line Gallery here in Australia and I've been fortunate that they have been a good supporter of my work. 
Even so, I think the big key is consistency. 
The exposure falls dramatically if you are not uploading new work regularly.
If you want to do well, it doesn’t matter which platform you focus on, you need to be consistent. 
I like Instagram, although I probably spend way too much time scrolling through the amazing artworks, when I should be putting together posts, stories and reels. 
Its not just about posting finished work either, be prepared to show in progress shots, a messy cluttered studio, and especially you, the artist!

Blush and Tango - 60cm x 60cm

ArterNet Art: Yes, you're right about consistency. What plans and goals do you have for the future, both creatively and personally? Then ultimately, if all the stars aligned, what do you see as your end game? (I know, most people get taken aback when they are confronted with this question, but I believe it's one we should all think about at some stage)

I have my first solo exhibition scheduled for this year which is exciting. I’ve exhibited in group exhibitions and have participated in the Noosa Open Studios Art Trail for the past four years but it’s taken until now for me to feel like I can tackle a solo exhibition. 
If all the stars aligned? That's a tough one! I want to keep growing as an artist, to be the best I can be. I feel I still have so much more to explore, but also to share with others. Oh - and if I’m really lucky I’d love someone to package my big paintings for me!
I love sharing what I know with others and so I have more small group workshops in the pipeline for this year. On a personal basis, we’d like to make a trip to Canada to see our son and grandchildren this year as its been a long time between visits due to Covid.

ArterNet Art: Tell us about any hobbies you may have, sports or interests other than art?

Spare time for me is spent tending our acreage garden or swimming in the pool. My husband and I love having a leisurely long lunch at one of our many favourite eateries along the Noosa River. 
It makes me feel like I’m on a constant holiday.

ArterNet Art: Do you have any quotes you live by or practice daily?

Bronwyn: One step at a time!

ArterNet Art: Thank you so much Bronwyn for taking the time for our interview. We wish you all the best for your success and future with us

You can see more of Bronwyn's work here:

Follow her on Instagram here:

View her work on ArterNet Art here:

'Dreaming Retro' 100 x 150cm


Bronwyn is our  'Founding ArterNet Art Member'

ArterNet Art is in development Stage Two, which is open for artists to register with us right now.
Stage Three is where we'll be open to the buying public. 
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