By Claire Ottaviano
NESTLED amongst private gardens on one of the Perth Hills oldest properties you will find Louise Thorpe’s studio, open for visitors during the Mundaring Hills Open Studios event next weekend.
While the gardens around the 1881 original Byfield Farm homestead are an attraction themselves, Thorpe’s studio and work at the back of the property is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
After a long career in graphic and interior design, Thorpe only recently turned her hand to painting.
“I’ve worked all my life in art as a graphic designer and an interior designer, but in my head I didn’t think I could paint,” she said.
“I picked up a paint brush in 2017 and started an online course.
“I get up in the morning and see what I painted the day before and think, wow I painted that.”
A figurative artist, she works out of her recycled studio on the edge of the forest.
She is fascinated by faces and figures, both human and animals, painting them in both realistic and more whimsical styles.
“You forget everything when you’re painting, you’re in your own world,” she said.
“I’ve also started painting with my two-year-old grandchild, everything else she gets bored after two minutes but now paints for two hours at a time.”
Thorpe works with oils, acrylic, charcoal and mixed media and likes to experiment to keep her work fresh.
She will have original art, prints and cards available for sale.
About 50 artists will exhibit from 24 locations across Mundaring between March 20 and 28.
Opening days vary between each studio.
Detailed times and locations of each studio are available at www.mundaring-hills-open-studios.org.au