After arriving in Queensland and settling on the Sunshine Coast from South Australia 16 years ago, Linda Vario has taken inspiration from the beauty and colour of the coast and hinterland of this beautiful part of the world. She has used a variety of materials and her luscious, rich surfaces have intrigued her buyers. Linda had a chat with us and we have found out a little bit more about her and her practice. AC: In your words how would you describe your paintings? LV: Labour intensive – most of my paintings have between 30 to 50 layers. This takes quite a bit of time as you can imagine, I have to wait for each layer to dry before I start the next. For this reason alone I usually work on 3 to 4 paintings at one time. While one is drying I can work on the next. I gravitate toward the colour red and I have to be careful not to paint every painting in that colour.
AC: Can you remember when you first knew you wanted to be an artist?LV: Yes I can – I had been very ill and the doctor could not give me any more pain relief. He said in an offhanded manner, “Why don’t you go and do an art class or something to take your mind off the pain”. So I did. I did not take art at school as I did not know what to expect. After I took my very first class, I knew that is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I then went on to take formal training.
AC: If you could spend a day with anyone living or dead who would it be? LV: My Mum, she lives in Adelaide and I miss her so much.
AC: Linda, a lot of people are fascinated by the beautiful glossy finish on some of your work. Can you tell us a little bit about that? LV: I have been one of the founding creators of resin art in Australia. It is a frustrating but rewarding medium to work with. Through many trials and tribulations with different brands of resins I have now formulated my own recipe and get this made for me by a chemist overseas, as every brand on the Australian market goes yellow over time – but mine does not.AC: Where do you paint and do you work set hours or when inspiration grabs you? LV: I paint in a purpose built studio on my beautiful property on the Sunshine Coast. I show up for work every morning at 8.30am, I then work through to 12.30pm, I then stop have a sandwich then back to work at 1.30 – 5.00pm.
I never wait for inspiration to take hold. In my opinion inspiration is for amateurs – the rest of us just show up and get to work. Great things grow out of activity.
AC: Describe what you can see from your window? LV: Oh my view is so divine. As we built my studio we took full advantage of the vista of lush green hills cascading into the rushing creek below. The bird and animal wildlife is abundant. No need for music in my studio – I just listen to the birds and nature.
AC: Did you have a mentor or person who supported your desire to be an artist when you were young? LV: The integral people in my life have been my Mother and Father, Brice & Ruth Douglas. Both business people who brought me up with a positive attitude and taught me to “never, never, never give up”. They taught me that before the Lorna Jane T-shirt ever came out. Lol. My Brother Stuart Douglas, a successful business person in his own right, helped me immensely to present my work in a professional manner. In the last 10 years David Hart has become my most important mentor and help. Without his insightful advice, hands on help and guidance I would not be where I am today in my career.
AC: What do you do to relax when you are not painting? LV: A true girl at heart – I love coffee with my girlfriends.
AC: What is your favourite place in all the world? LV: Queensland of course. I have travelled extensively around the world but I can honestly say that nowhere else in the world is as good as Queensland. What a privilege to live here!
AC: Tell us something that we may not know about you? LV: I write a prayer directly onto each canvas before I start painting on it. I pray for the person who is going to buy the painting and I pray that it will bring a blessing into their home. I also then, each evening before I go to sleep, pray a corporate prayer for everyone who has bought one of my artworks. Linda Vario will be exhibiting at Red Hill Gallery 61 Musgrave Road, Red Hill, Brisbane in the month of February together with two other promising female artists Danielle McManus and Lola Santiago in the exhibition "Women Of Substance" .