ArtChat [Blog Interview #43] – Danielle McManus

Danielle McManus's  love of story telling is evident in her colourful, figurative offerings that provide viewers with brilliantly thought-provoking images. Frequently set against a backdrop of a landscape fusing both her Maltese heritage and passion for Australia, her whimsically wide-eyed and naïve figures evoke stories that everyone can relate to.Danielle McManusAC:     Your quirky style has a vintage  feel to it. What inspires you?

DM:    The vintage feel to my work comes from the inspiration I draw from life as a child. A time when life was a lot less hectic. I think sometimes we miss the simple things in life and we are too rushed and busy to take the time to smell the flowers!! I like for my paintings to be serene and peaceful, to draw people away from their busy lives and to relax for a while.

AC:     Describe your art in a sentence.

DM:    My works are colourful and whimsical; they hopefully make the viewer a little nostalgic and share my love of nature.

AC:     What can’t you live without?

DM:    My journal. I fill it with sketches and notes for the next works, I have it on me all the time in case!!

AC:     Do you remember your first painting as a child?

DM:    I don’t remember a first painting as such but I do remember being my happiest when I was lying on my bedroom floor drawing and painting. Danielle McManusAC:     What music do you listen to whilst you’re working?

DM:    I listen to all kinds of music from all different genres. I guess it depends on the mood I am in.

AC:     Apart from art what is the next most creative thing you do?

DM:   Gardening. I love being outside and growing my own flowers and plants to put in my work! I am hoping to create a little oasis to be able to paint in. I also love to sit and watch the little birds in the garden.

AC:     Your work is dominated by large colour fields, how does colour affect you?

DM:    I think colour affects all of us in different ways. It has the power to change your mood and evoke emotion. I usually incorporate red somewhere in my paintings, or orange, they are colours that make me happy.

AC:     What do you like doing when you’re not painting?

DM:    I spend the time I am not painting with my children. Painting takes up so much of my time so I think it’s only fair to spend the rest of the time with them. They grow up so quickly, I don’t want to miss it!

AC:     Share something about yourself which would surprise our readers.

DM:    This question is a hard one for me to answer as I don’t feel that I am too different or surprising! Maybe the fact that I never set out to be an artist. At first I was going to illustrate books but after being told by a publishing house that I was not pushy enough to get my work noticed I became a graphic designer. Never did I think my work would be gallery worthy!! It was only through a friend insisting that I put some of my ceramics into a local gallery that my career as an artist has all come about. I always feel so fortunate that galleries such as Red Hill Gallery and the others I exhibit in put such faith in my work and give me such opportunities as this exhibition to hang my work with other such talented artists, it is truly a dream come true!! Danielle McManus

Danielle McManus will be showing with three other talented female artists in a group exhibition "Women of Substance" at Red Hill Gallery, Brisbane from February 14 until Sunday March 3, 2014.

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