Hello fellow artists and art lovers, my name is Brigitte Ackland, I am a full-time artist living and working along the glorious coast of Western Australia.
I cannot remember a time when I haven't expressed myself creatively: whether through painting, drawing, sculpture, mosaics, or photography. My motto in life: If I’m not creating, I’m not living!
At 19, I attended Ravensbourne College of Art & Design in Kent, UK (where I grew up) for my BA in Fine Art but, for personal reasons, quit half-way through my course, so never graduated. This didn't mean my artistic journey ended there, far from it! While at Art College, I discovered a love of photography and made full use of the darkroom facilities, creating abstract prints which further developed my artistic eye. Today, my camera has become a trusty tool of my trade, so when I'm not painting in my art studio, I take my Nikon with me everywhere to capture anything which catches my eye, adding to my vast library of images. I take these images a step further, by playing around with them in Photoshop, which provides me with new and exciting ideas for my paintings.
After leaving Art College, most of my artistic training became self-taught. In my mid-20s, I attended an exhibition featuring a ceramic artist who greatly inspired me. Lucky for me, she also ran classes teaching her modern painting techniques, which I enrolled in. I took this a step further, when I learned how to create moulds for casting sculpture and jewellery, which I then handpainted using abstract motifs, highlighted with 22carat gold. My intense need to be creative has often led me to experiment with many different mediums and this is just one example. For 5 years, I was a full-time ceramic and mosaic artist.
At 30, I travelled to Perth, Western Australia after I was commissioned by my brother to paint and decorate his entire house, using stencils I designed and hand cut to add artistic flair and drama to each room.
While doing this, I met my future (and current) husband and so my life's journey continued in Australia, where I've resided for 26 years.
After marriage, the children soon followed with one having special needs. This was quite a full-time occupation for me but I still managed to juggle the needs of my growing family with my artistic endeavours, accepting commissions in all areas of art. About 9 years ago, I started my own photographic company called "Photo Finishes" where I offered an online service to create fantasy images in Photoshop.
This was a successful business for about 7 years, which I only quit 5 years ago when I decided to devote myself entirely to my first love: painting.
Shortly after returning to being a full-time artist, I discovered liquid acrylics and have never looked back! This medium has liberated from the more traditional style I once painted in, to be bold and abstract, to be spontaneous and to give up my control over the outcome. I love the unexpectedness of it and find nothing is more satisfying (and nerve-wracking!) than pouring paint on a large canvas! After the acrylic has dried (which can take weeks, as I pour my paint thickly) I'll add more detail, sometimes painting realistic elements for a surreal effect or adding metallic leaf or acrylic skins to enrich the surface texture and patterning.
Living on the coast of Western Australia heavily influences my work: trying to capture the mercurial nature of the ocean being a recurring theme that often dictates my colour palette. Sometimes, its more a mood or a feeling that drives my work, or a song I'm listening to or a phrase I've overheard. Or simply the love of colour on canvas and the fun (and sometimes 'torture') of creating. But always striving to achieve harmony and hoping it resonates with others.
I have exhibited in many Perth-based art shows as well as exhibited solo and sold paintings to collectors around the world, with many having 4 or more of my paintings. I also have artworks on display in commerical buildings, the most notable being in Sydney Town Hall House, Sydney, Australia.
Joondalup Art Exhbition, June 2018
Wanneroo Art Exhibition, April 2018
Solo Exhibition Nov 2017, at my Art Gallery, Hillarys WA
Ellenbrook Art Exhibition, Sept 2017
Finalist, Painting for a Cause Calendar Exhibition, WA
Joondalup Art Exhbition, June 2017
Solo Exhibition Nov 2016, at my Art Gallery, Hillarys WA