10 Years of Bluethumb: 10 Years of Our Most Popular Artists
Get out the birthday candles and cake: Bluethumb has just turned ten! That’s ten years of supporting Australian artists and ten years of bringing Australian art to the nation’s homes. It’s been a wild ride and – just as the song goes – we’ve come a long, long way together. Of course, we would be nothing without our artists. They are the bread and butter of Bluethumb, and in turn, we’re incredibly proud to see them soar over the years.
Below are just a handful of artists that have reached dizzying heights of popularity throughout the decade. For each year since our inaugural, we’ll be focusing on an artist that’s shone brightly. Needless to say, you’re all stars in our eyes!
2012: Ron Brown
A landscape painter by tradition, Ron Brown was one the first artists to find the sweet spot on Bluethumb – and has seen our development as much as we’ve seen his! With work that illustrates an interest in colour and texture, Ron combines and applies a variety of media onto the canvas.
2013: Ben Tankard
The transformation within Ben Tankard‘s work has shown an enviable diversity within the artist’s talent. Starting in the realms of Surrealism, Ben has since become highly recognised abstracted ‘Unpopular Penguin’ series, as well as his current culturally relevant takes on the classic Monopoly game. Located in the lush Blue Mountains, Ben’s work reaches far and wide with international collectors, as well as publications including Art Edit Magazine, The Grand Designs Australia Sourcebook and the Financial Review. Upon selling his 300th artwork, Ben celebrated with an Instagram post that joked “Made it to 300 sales! Thank you @bluethumbart, I’d probably be stacking toilet paper if not for you. Game changer in the art world.” We spoke with Ben at the beginning of last year on his dazzling success – click here to read more.
2014: Annette Spinks
Bluethumb veteran Annette Spinks lives between the calm waters of Anderson’s Inlet and the rugged coastline of Bunurong Marine National Park. It therefore comes as no surprise the painter’s reputation has gained strength for her aquatic abstracts. As one of the first artists to witness the beginning of Bluethumb, Annette has also progressed through various accolades, and her story tells a tale of success. Click here to read our previous interview with the artist.
2015: Sue Bannister
Sue Bannister’s Impressionist approach to sweeping landscapes quickly turned heads on Bluethumb. With a bright and bold colour palette, a play of light often features in Sue’s work and has throughout the years remained in the core essence of her paintings. We’ve seen Sue take to various subject matter, but rural Australia has remained at the core of her practice. She now sits as one of our top Landscape artists.
2016: Loui Jover
In keeping with the surge with up-cycling trends of the later end of the decade, Loui Jover shook things up on Bluethumb with his highly collectable pieces. The pages of vintage novels become common background, where the Queensland-based artist then met the pages with black lines of ink in predominantly portraiture pieces. See more of Brisbane’s local talent here.
2017: Susan Trudinger
Much like Ron Brown and Sue Bannister, Bluethumb has been blessed to to witness one of our most successful landscape artists, Susan Trudinger, be celebrated by collectors around the world. Her vivid, high-spirited landscapes emphasise the incredible features of our natural world. While she is now settled in Canberra, Susan Trudinger’s work has been influenced by many years and life experiences, including parenthood, career changes and travelling through the Middle East. During these travels, Susan found herself “in awe of the landscape, the culture and the fine intricate designs on mosques and other buildings”. Susan takes an abstract approach to various scenes, which in turn gives us a new perspective to traditional views of landscape paintings.
2018: Sally Browne
Still as much now as back in 2018, Sally Browne has had an unmistakable style to still life and the Australian surroundings. British-born and Sydney-based, Sally cites the effect of seeing the city through a migrant’s eyes as the motivation behind her constantly evolving signature style.
2019: Marnie McKnight
Holding down a reputation as Bluethumb’s most popular artist in 2019, you’ll have likely spotted Marnie McKnight somewhere on site or in our gallery! Marnie’s creative pursuits have unfurled into a a trademark body of pure abstracts, as well as the occasional landscape and portrait piece that meet a lens of abstraction. Marnie is also an avid art collector – click here to see her own assembly of art by Bluethumb artists!
Being the bestselling artist of 2019 left Franko riding a wave of popularity in 2020. A contemporary visual artist with paintings that touch upon a spectrum of Abstract and Pop Art, Franko is known for his free use of colour and texture and an eccentric approach to his practice. His work is no stranger to the limelight, with pieces featured on The Block, Grand Designs and Art Edit. Read more about Franko’s journey as an artist through the years on Bluethumb in our interview here.
2021: Sophie Lawrence
If you haven’t heard of Sophie Lawrence, where have you been the last two years?! Having smashed her previous record of sales in the previous year, 2021 was a huge year for Sophie. Her large-scale paintings, bold and vivant, play with traditional subject matter through abstracted colour use and form. The effect is an ‘intoxicating kaleidoscope of colour and energy’. So if there’s an artwork of hers you like, get in quick – her work finds new homes fast! Click here to read more about the artist in our interview with Sophie Lawrence.
Click here to discover some of our top 10 artists from the last 10 years with our new curation. Featuring old favourites and new, you might just rediscover someone who fell off your radar.