Updated: Mar 31, 2021
I am a vital, honest and very much creative womxn.
Maureen’s paintings are known for their saturated colour in oil or gouache and their gestural brushwork. Her local and international exhibitions feature landscape, still life and portraiture. She trained under William Robinson at QUT and carries on the tradition of observational painting as influenced by 20th Century Modernists like Matisse, Bonnard and the Fauvist group. Maureen is a true colorist who paints directly in front of her subject for hours observing changing light from life. Her prize-winning work is in Art Collections globally. (full bio)
What's easy for womxn?
It's wonderful to realise my multi-tasking, plate-juggling capacities, for I am a single Mum and Artist and an Art Therapist who manages five jobs. Plus I'm always thinking what more could I do!
What's difficult for womxn?
“See Above” quip from Lisa Behan. What is difficult is not being a Good Girl and looking after yourself first before others, but that’s only because women are often generous to a fault.
How do you maintain mental fitness/mental health?
I try to remember things that make me happy like dancing or listening to music and buying records, playing in bands, seeing friends and painting, keeping painting.
What brings you joy?
Painting and the way my son thinks about things when we get time to talk. Having a cheeky beverage with my mates and good conversation.
How do you nurture your relationship with nature?
I look at it really hard. I am an observational painter who observes changing light on nature - still life landscape and faces, or figures. Inspiration from Nature never runs dry. A forest bathe at a Brisbane reserve like Raven Street, West Chermside is a top idea.
Where do you feel a sense of belonging/community?
At work at the Kim Walter's Choices program for Breast Cancer patients. I have taught them to paint and draw as diversional therapy for 20 years and they are so patient, wonderful, vulnerable and marvellous. They are brave women who still manage to work, be mothers, partners, or live alone and take on all that it is to go through the journey of cancer with a generous heart.
Where do you live/work?
Across Brisbane from Ascot to Indooroopilly and from home at Everton Park. Also I exhibit my paintings at Woollongabba Art Gallery. I live, work and play on Turbal Jagera country.
What motivates you?
I get motivated by the sense that I may lose the plot if I don’t paint. It's better for all those around me, but most of all it's better for me.
What’s important to you?
Honesty, freedom of expression, peace, making and looking at Art, and listening and dancing to music.
Best piece of advice from a womxn?
Davida Allen telling me when I asked her in my 20s where a relationship was heading she said, "Maureen, do you know how your painting is going to end up when you start it?" And then she said "Well there you have it".
What are you working on?
A still life of a beautiful light bowl almost pale blue white against a timber table with some German pottery and a purple ginger flower. Also planning Life Drawing classes at Woollongabba Art Gallery in May.
How do you play?
I look for the humour in things and I garden like a maniac, ahh my Dad said if you’re angry hose the lawn, and its held me in good stead.
Describe an influential womxn in your life
Artists, June Tupicoff and Davida Allen - they are so smart and supportive, and imaginative.
When you’re down, how do you get back up?
Sometimes, if I really have to I call a helpline as I have survived domestic violence and the pressure of being a single mum and the only breadwinner is full on but I also need to connect with my girlfriends - they are the best!
As an Elder I feel a responsibility to
Teach people about being creative and accepting of themselves through making meaning in their choices about what they want to do.
How do you share your Culture?
I sing about it, or I paint about everyday life. My teacher, William Robinson, said if you paint your life you can’t go wrong, and its true you just need to pay attention to the details of how you live and there is a swathe of great information that supports your idea of who you are and your place in this world.
Also, women’s instinct is a secret antenna - love it and trust it. Sometimes I do.
We are grateful to Maureen for sharing her truth in this profile, we see you, we hear you, we connect with you. WomxnConnect is a place of belonging.
"Share your truth, it is your power”. Grace Tame, Australian of the Year, 3 March 2021