What Makes an Artist: Freya Powell

It’s hard to believe Sydney artist, Freya Powell, is relatively new to the painting world. Her floral works show a mature understanding of composition with superior attention to detail, illustrating her love for the subject which has been carried through her childhood from her mother. “I grew up in a cottage in England where my mother spent a lot of time tending to the flowers in her garden. Visiting her place, you’ll see that the garden is better kept than the house itself,” she says with a chuckle.


Freya Powell in her studio.

Freya shares her suburban apartment with her newlywed husband, which sits on the tenth floor boasting a large feature window overlooking Sydney’s urban sprawl and eastern beaches. Freya’s love for the outdoors has been brought inside, through the apartments bright interior and fresh flowers on display throughout. Her painting process involves constantly buying fresh flowers from the markets to photograph and then paint. “I get lots of photos from different angles and stages of the flowers life. Sometimes the wilt from a flower that is nearly dead is just as nice as a flower in full bloom.” When asked why she chooses to use flowers for her subject matter she says simply, “I just love flowers and the intricacy of them. I don’t think there’s really anything else to it.”


Just sold! Oscillation by Freya Powell

Freya studied Fashion Design at university before having a dream about painting which then prompted her new career path. “I really enjoy painting but it’s still quite new to me, and I’m still very much experimenting and developing my style. I’ve got a few ideas of different aspects to add to my paintings which I might try, but I’ve had good feedback from the style so far,” says Freya.


Despite her creation of dreamy petals being compared to the flow of soft fabrics, Freya does not think her experience with textiles has influenced her paintings much. “I was very much into more structured fashion designs,” she explains, “but I guess it does help me with the composition of the petals and developing the structure of the flower before I start to paint.”

poise-freya-powell-bluethumb-artPoise by Freya Powell

Freya’s love for painting is evident in her words. Despite the stigma she doesn’t find the artist life lonely and enjoys listening to the dreamy tunes of artists like Tame Impala to help her get into the mind frame to paint. “I definitely see painting as form of meditation. I can be so focused on the work I’m doing that I won’t even realise that hours have gone by. It’s not stressful and when you don’t like something you’ve created, sometimes you just have to walk away and acknowledge that there is nothing more that can be done to it,” explains the artist.


Some of Freya’s pen drawings.

Freya is currently showcasing her work at a group exhibition titled Recluse at Gaffa Gallery in Sydney’s Surry Hills. The exhibition is on until June 20th, so be sure to check out Freya’s work if you are around!

View and buy Freya’s artworks online here.

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