During her 13 years as a pre-primary teacher, WA artist Narelle Manser-Smith loved encouraging her young students to paint, draw and create.
But in the end, Narelle’s own passion for creating art out-weighed the desire to remain in a classroom.
“One day, I decided I’d take a year, just off to paint, “ she recalls. “That was eight years ago!”
In 2006, she held her first solo exhibition, and the artistic juices have been flowing ever since. She’s exhibited extensively around WA and in Melbourne and her work can be found in corporate and private collections around the nation.
She works from her Nedlands home, when her two young sons, Harvey, 13 months, and George, 3, aren’t occupying her full attention. “I generally have to wait until they’re napping!” she explains, as George whizzes past with a toy truck.
Currently, she’s focused on abstract and representational paintings. “I love playing with texture, and layering colours with glaze,” Narelle enthuses. “I love to just stand at a blank canvas, playing with the paint and not really knowing what will happen next.”
Narelle has donated two of her paintings to this year’s annual PLC Old Collegians’ Association Art Exhibition, from Friday May 17 to Saturday May 19, featuring 50 artworks for sale from past students and supporters, curated by former PLC student, artist Sophia Vinton.
“It’s great giving something back to PLC. I had such a wonderful time there as a student. I used to spend all my lunch times in the art and music departments at the school.”
Her past art teacher, the late Mrs Mell, was “an inspiration,” she recalls.
“She put up with all my moods! I learned so much from her. I remember going around to her home one of my overdue assignments, begging her, ‘just take it!’”
Water-colourist Ray Eastwood and portrait artist Aurelie Yeo will be artists-in-residence on Saturday and Sunday at the school, from 11am until 1pm on Saturday and 1pm until 3pm on Sunday.
The Starfish has a special interest in this year’s exhibition. Our co-publisher, PLC “old girl” Jacqui Lang will be opening the display at a cocktail party on Friday night, from 6pm until 9pm.
Tickets to Opening Night are $25: a chance for folk to get in early to snap up some of the prize works!
For opening night tickets go to plcoca.com.au/art and for enquiries, contact Colette James 9424 6520 firstname.lastname@example.org