Regina Noakes - an artist well recognised wherever she goes.. we caught up with her during her busy schedule coming up to her Red Hill Gallery exhibition on October 10th. AC: As a well known artist, what is the most unusual place you have been recognised?
RN: It was a wet night, car battery run down, waiting for RAC man. He appears and says ' Are you the artist Regina Noakes? I love your paintings'.
I was having breakfast at a hotel and a man coming up to my table and wanting to share it with me. He turns out to be Eric Clapton, who has bought several of my paintings and recognised me from an art brochure.
AC: What does an ‘artistic outlook’ on life mean to you?
RN: I guess I try to look at things and live life from an aesthetic point of view. Quality and refinement are important to me.
AC: When you studied painting in Singapore, did you know it would be your future career?
RN: Yes. From the time I was 5 years old I think I knew. I could not stop drawing and painting at school and at home. My family and teachers always encouraged me. All my presents I received were usually something to do with art....books, paints, pastels, charcoal.
AC: Your work and the figures in them are very serene and calming, what sort of things do you do to relax yourself.
RN: I don't find painting relaxing. I am totally obsessed when I paint and cannot stop for days. I work hard to bring serenity to my figures. To relax, I watch detective movies....Taggart, Cracker etc . I listen to classical music while I paint. I tend to play the same music over and over again.....loudly!
AC: What advice do you like to give to your students when they ask you about becoming a full time artist?
RN: Be prepared to put in the hours....9am to 4pm, 11pm to 4am.....day after day. Make sure you marry a patient husband, preferably an academic who does research and understands about working long crazy hours.
Look at everything selectively, aesthetically and don't compromise. Only put out work you are 100% happy with.
AC: How do you like your art to be described and what words would you like to hear when others are talking ‘Regina Noakes’
RN: Consistent, good, aesthetic work. People come and say they love the art....and if they have bought a piece previously, they quite often cannot stop talking about it! Many of the paintings are given names by the owners and become part of the family.