From when I was about two years of age, I can remember drawing – I used to draw on my mother’s walls. I have always drawn and painted – drawn more than anything. Once at school they announced they were going to have an art competition, so I got quite excited and went straight home and did my drawing that night. When I took it to the school next morning, they laughed at me and said that they hadn’t even made any plans yet. So, entering art competitions must have been in my blood even at that age – I must have been 6 or 7. Later, as a young mother, when I working, I went to different people for training. I used to paint under the mango tree at Bribie. This was in my mother’s yard, but I was painting the world.
When I was about 25 I was going to an artist for classes. That tutor would have liked me to go to university to study art, but I put my art career on hold until I was 44 when I had raised my kids – although I was still painting at home in the more traditional style. When I did commence my university degree (B.A. in Visual Arts), I wanted to understand modern art concepts, and art history. I came out of university in 1994, but didn’t find my real creative direction until 2005 when I began to relate once again to the land. The work that I do now in the contemporary art world could be considered old fashioned.
The movements in modern art have been more biased towards conceptual photographic and video work than painting the spirituality of the land as I do. I feel my passion is manipulating paint and depicting the lighter side of life but having said that I feel the stirrings for change that may see me head in a new direction. I always paint in the studio for the process rather than the commercial side of it all. I feel that will always takes care of itself later. This is one reason why I am happy to have my work out into travelling shows, because I can think ‘Well it’s now serving its purpose, so now I can get back into doing what I want to do, and we’ll worry about what happens to that work afterwards.’
There’s a difference between a painter and an artist. As an artist your work is about finding your creative direction through who you really are, whereas a painter just paints. Art is a journey, and I always think you should go back to your early childhood memories. Our personalities as children and the things we did are the true ‘us’. The personality might seem like it changes but it never does, it just grows stronger with age.
There was that little child in me that loved the freedom of running down the beach, and I used to read a lot. I loved nature and the way water was always eroding the beaches and the patterns the tides formed. When I was at University studying art, it was suggested by a tutor that I draw on my nursing background, and as I was still nursing, that did seem to be who I was then. Nurses work with people so I started painting figures rather than landscapes and it took me another ten years to get this out of my painting.
In nursing I was healing through the use of my hands. Now I want my paintings to have that same effect, heal by giving a sense of contemplation and peace and have the viewer get in touch with who they are. I think I was lost for many years and my art really began to take shape when I went back to landscapes. I had been playing with different things but it wasn’t until I went to organic sources that I found myself.
Suddenly I was painting the horizons and skies that I had grown up with. And it was the skies that I had always known as a child as Bribie is a little flat island, with all horizons and sky. The Glasshouse Mountains were also an influence. I’d seen them from the Bribie Passage for so long, so, in spite of the Aboriginal legend forbidding women to venture close, I had to go and explore them. I think that suddenly when I began painting the landscapes with the water and the eroding sands, I was home again on my beloved Bribie. Here at Tallegalla I sometimes feel like I am still on an island when first thing in the morning the mist has filled the valley and we look out over it to the mountaintops sticking out like islands through the low cloud. But then Bribie has changed. It’s so contained now they have concreted in the foreshore for example. But people love it. It’s a great family place. You don’t get loads of young people with their surfboards going there because Bribie doesn’t offer that kind of surf. But just getting there can be a problem with all the traffic congestion going north out of Brisbane in the holiday seasons.
(Extract from Peter Ludlow’s book ‘Moreton Bay People 2012’ (now out of print)
Editor: In 2020 Lyne relocated her home and art studio to Ningi, a small township adjacent to her original home on Bribie Island. Further details can be found at:
Studio Gallery at Ningi Qld 4511
Open by appointment
Mobile 0418 876 230