10 Local Brisbane Artists You Should Know

Brisbane: a city on the rise known for its subtropical beaches, flourishing cultural scene, and, of course, some of Australia’s most budding and established artists. Many of our burgeoning artists take inspiration from the vibrant atmosphere as much as its stunning landscape that all year round amazes visitors and locals alike. Acquaint yourself with our top ten best selling and emerging artists on Bluethumb currently calling Australia’s third largest city and its surroundings home.

1. Franko: The Brisbane Bestseller

Back in 2017, the Bluethumb team met Paul Franklin for the first time – the man behind the mysterious moniker Franko. As a multi-disciplinary artist, he became synonymous with colour and texture within predominantly abstract and pop-themed artwork. 2019 was undeniably one of the biggest in Franko’s career to date: He received recognition from various platforms such as The Block for his work and was last year’s number one best seller on Bluethumb.

2019 Best seller Franko in his studio

Franko’s main concern is working with what’s happy and fun. “I love what I do, and the ’emotional context’ comes from that,” He recently told us. “I work huge days, but I am still excited to walk into (or fall asleep in) my studio every day.”

Franko’s tendency to create large-scale abstraction and pop art has given him a unique voice and is hugely popular with collectors. His love of texture, character and colour are truthfully expressed in whatever is on the canvas.

Oxide Noir is a paradigm of Franko’s work: “The union on rust oxides with blacks, greys and whites on heavily constructed layers of texture generated this mesmerising piece.”

Find out more about the artist in our recent interview or click here to shop his full portfolio.

2. Erin Nicholls: Brisbane’s Traveller

From learning Old Masters’ oil painting techniques in Florence, to travelling around the world for inspiration, Erin Nicholls‘s work reflects a well-lived, insightful life. Past experiences influence a body of work that resonates with anyone who has ever felt like the outsider or appreciated that a time and place will never be repeated; feelings most of us have probably felt when in a foreign land.

A sneaky peek at Erin’s work halfway shows some meticulous planning! Click to see the finished View of Ginza

Erin’s previous series of photo-realistic drawings asked the viewer to stop and take notice of what is in the peripheral more often. This series, A Year in Japan, perfectly captures the sentiment of being a “perpetual tourist“, while offering us to see ourselves inside the scenes in the place of the lone subjects frequenting the landscape.

Memory of Spring by Erin Nicholls

The solitary man in Erin’s artworks, such as Memory of Spring, indicates room for a viewer to envision themselves within the landscape

Whilst having a break from the street scenes, Erin has recently shifted her focus towards floral artworks using her own technique. Click here to view her profile including her most current series, or get to know the Brisbane-based artist in our previous interview.

The carnations chosen for Shades of Pink display different shapes and folds their petals create. “They are akin to drapery,” Erin explains. “This results in lots of variety in shade and colour. I chose to have a black background as they are a soft pink, and I wanted to give them a bit more of a dramatic look.”

3. Meredith Howse: A Tribute to Brisbane’s Beautiful Surroundings

Since joining Bluethumb mid-2017, Meredith Howse has steadily yet firmly established herself as an award-winning landscape artist in Australia’s ever-changing art scene. A deep-seated instinct to paint as a child exploring the coastal towns of New South Wales has undoubtedly informed the inspiration and approach Meredith holds towards her practice today.

Meredith in her studio – creating her next landscape, no doubt!

While landscape, water and shadows are constant themes, the style of Meredith’s artwork varies greatly. “It’s possible the inconsistency is because of the incredible amount of influences around these days.” Early on in her career, the medium of oil paint was settled upon as this was what readily available. “Oil paint lent itself to extreme darks and lights, with not much in between. When I use acrylic paint, the outcomes tend to be a lot lighter and freer flowing.” Meredith is currently working on a series of abstract paintings inspired by her childhood fascination with the colour and opalescence of Australian opals.

We love how rich the pink, blue, green and yellow gets in this piece! Green Opalescent is one of Meredith’s series dedicated to her love of Australian opals

Browse her full portfolio or meet Meredith in our recent interview here.

4. Ashvin Harrison: Abstract Meets Realism

Ashvin Harrison is a best selling Bluethumb artist who creates art as motivation for tomorrow, focussing on the positives in life through beautiful, engaging and thoughtful art. His works depict the reality of day-to-day life, as well as it’s colourful ups and downs.

valentine

Oh, that’s just Bluethumb artist Ashvin Harrison, casually floating around his studio…

Through a fusion of artistic styles, Ashvin’s realistic charcoal forms meet with disorder in the unpredictable nature of splattered colour. In doing so, he offers his own take in representing the abstract and complex matter of human emotion and connection.

Supreme Forte is a focus on the powerful sense of joy and exhilaration music provides. Ashvin paints in charcoal to create a realistic looking vintage classic gramophone. He then splashes vibrant acrylic rainbow colours whilst listening to music. Much of the abstract splatter is guided by the beat and rhythmic sections.

Discover more of Ashvin’s work here.

5. Angela Hawkey: The Impasto Artist

Raised in an artistic household with creative traditions, Angela has grown to experiment in photography, graphic design, ceramics – the list goes on. In fact, creativity pretty much flows through Angela Hawkey‘s blood. Now settled on the Gold Coast of Queensland, the glimpse of paradise she inhabits gives her canvases life in her notable landscape paintings.

Angela busy at work on one of her luscious landscapes!

Angela is at her happiest with a paintbrush in hand, approaching the canvas with a free-flowing, unplanned and unpredictable mindset. “Even when starting with a subject or idea in mind, I freely deviate from the plan. I love the unexpected surprises and naturalness that comes from a relaxed style of painting.” Colour and texture take centre stage in Angela’s work, which forge thick, layered landscapes, abstracts and still life.

When she’s not painting stunning seascapes, she’s crafting gorgeous, buttery florals! Then I Met You by Angela Hawkey

Take a further look at Angela’s work here.

6. Dinah Wakefield: Art Through Instinct

Dinah Wakefield paints with a very distinctive style and an inclination towards cool tones, such as olive greens and teals. Her move to Noosa has throughly stimulated her practice; her environment is now considered an integral part of her process. “I am constantly inspired and uplifted by the landscape around me and how I experience its ever-changing nature, particularly the way that the light plays on different elements such as the ocean, trees and stones,” Dinah explains. “I paint instinctively. I have been meditating for many years and my paintings are a direct expression of what appears to me in my meditation. Every painting starts as a leap of faith, a jump into the unknown, a feeling for a colour and a form, which gradually develops into a finished work. Every step is instinctively guided by an inner seeing. Each painting then becomes a reference point for what I am experiencing in my life.”

Abstract artist at work.

In flow: Dinah Wakefield in her studio

Dinah’s work consistently displays flow and subtlety. Edges and contours remind soft, and give a dreamlike air to her large abstracts. “I work with a lot of water in the paint so that it moves and flows across the canvas,” Dinah says. “I like to paint on a large scale as this gives me complete freedom to express as I choose.”

River Song is inspired by the light, the colours and the natural beauty of the Noosa region of Australia. “What I love most about Noosa is the interplay of light. From the oceans to the clouds, to the river estuaries and the hinterland, this canvas unfolds before me every day and finds expression in my paintings.”

See more of Dinah’s abstracts here.

7. Amanda Brooks: Capturing the Sunshine Coast Life

Life on the Sunshine Coast seems incredibly picturesque. Amanda Brooks’ work lies testament to that. With a style that reflects her contemporary, casual and colour filled lifestyle in the Hinterlands, Amanda typically works on large canvases that are vibrant and textured.

“When one is in touch with nature, no season passes unnoticed” – Amanda Brooks on finding inspiration from her environment

Typical subject matter includes birds, animals, and floral arrangements, created from a combination of acrylics, ink washes and oils creating layer upon layer. With each layer, her love of nature, music and the coast is reflected. A previous background as a graphic designer and teaching painting techniques to others have informed a discipline and lifelikeness that is unique to the artist. Plus, with such pleasant themes and bursting colour across her work, it’s no wonder she’s such a hit with collectors!

Explore more here.

8. Loui Jover: Brisbane’s International Favourite

Vintage books, meet your second lease of life. The frail pages of unloved old novels are reworked as common characters in Loui Jover’s highly collected around the world. Loui typically adheres these pages together, bringing an essence of fragility to his work. These become the backdrop to predominantly portraiture, contrasting with Loui’s stark black lines of ink.

Limits is part of an ongoing series of works created over the past ten years featuring women and their emotions.

Loui’s pieces never stick around for long – if you love his style as much as everyone else does, better snap one up quick. Shop his profile here.

9. Robert Hagan: Brisbane’s Collectable Artist

With a career that spans decades, we’ve seen Robert Hagan’s popularity rise to an all-time high over the past few years, establishing himself as one of Australia’s truly collectable artists. Robert is widely celebrated for his outback horse scenes that align chillingly close to movie stills at times. Countless stories are waiting to be told in his work.

Through the Shallows is one of Robert Hagan’s most recent paintings. With his distinctive technique and subject matter, it doesn’t disappoint!

From his Jackeroo days, Robert knows his subject well and consistently captures quintessential Australiana in action. Click here to check out more of this collectable artist‘s work.

10. Jane Long: The Brisbane Photographer

Sometimes reality just doesn’t cut it. Enter Jane Long. By combining photography and photo manipulation, Jane creates a surreal environment that straddles, and often explores beyond, the line between reality and fantasy. It’s easy to get lost in the abstract, intangible nature of Jane’s work, which is why we love it.

Jane Long has given these youngsters in Underneath a new context to remind the viewer that “these figures [are] real people, more than just an old photograph. Adding colour completely changes our perception of images.” Credit: Colossal

Two of Jane’s most salient series have explored rather divergent themes. Dancing With Costica transformed nearly-forgotten black and white photographs into playful works of make-believe. “I wanted to change the context of the images. Photographic practices at the time meant people rarely smiled in photos but that doesn’t mean they didn’t laugh and love. I wanted to introduce that to the images.” Her other much-loved series, Ink, celebrates the soft movement of being underwater, and the sense of weightlessness it conveys.

“It’s quiet under the surface – a sense of peace reigns here.” – Jane Long on the Ink Series. Featured: Translucence III

Did you know you can find a full list of our talented artists by region? Explore other artists from Brisbane and the Queensland area here.

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