What Makes an Artist: Stephanie Harris and her Journey into Abstractionism

Stephanie Harris’s thematic influence comes from the expression of raw and honest abstractionism. “Having supportive parents makes all the difference in the world,” says Stephanie, when talking a little about her childhood. Despite studying Art at Deakin, she wasn’t always an abstract painter. It took a brief stint after university in the field of Events Management before she came into her own as an artist. “I guess being in a career where you are required to be organised, perfect and rigid with rules suffocated my creativity,” says Steph. In reaction to that she started to identify with abstract art and sell online.

Stephanie Harris working on her Created With Care charity collaboration.

Stephanie likes to work with heavy body acrylics. By using lots of pastel layers to get different textures and tones she brings a loose structure to her work. But most of all she likes the fact that her husband Charlie is in the next room working on his furniture. The two make a great team, they are super-artists by day, and moonlight as restaurant managers. Their restaurant is just below their studio in the vibrant Windsor neighbourhood, in Melbourne.

Violet by Stephanie Harris

We asked Steph about her favourite works. Azura sold recently and is her best creation so far, she thinks. She loves the vibrant variations of blue and flashes of red. “I like to work with vibrant, energetic colours. It is all about the fun and energy that my work brings into a room,” she explains.


Just Sold! Azura by Stephanie Harris

Recently she collaborated with woodworkers Luke Atkins and Veronica Paiva for our Created With Care Initiative. Their contribution is a set of timber stools crafted by Luke and Veronica and painted by Stephanie Harris.

Stump Stools coming soon to Created with Care

Steph believes that she is still experimenting with abstract painting. She wants eventually to have her own identity and style that is raw, authentic, energetic and vibrant with colour. When collectors buy her art, she hopes it provides a happy distraction from the more serious or mundane aspects of everyday life.

Cordelia by Stephanie Harris

The artist Steph loves the most is Egon Schiele. Although his work doesn’t have a direct connection to hers, it’s very unique and identifiable so has stuck with her. “I’m drawn to the rawness of his paintings. I would like to echo that in my work,” she explains.

Egon Schiele's Controversial ArtworkReclining Female Nude by Egon Schiele

An artist that Steph says has a more direct influence on her work is Franz Kine, the American painter mainly associated with the Abstract Expressionist movement of the 1940s and 1950s.


Painting Number 2 by Franz Kline

Unlike many other artists, Steph doesn’t believe that the artistic life is lonely. “Part of the reason I feel like being an artist isn’t lonely is because of the great networks of support and interaction available through social media,” says Steph. She also lives in a vibrant neighbourhood of Melbourne that is very supportive of artists. She loves working with her husband in their restaurant, Saint Lucia – Windsor, and enjoys the company of her cuddly dog, Bean.

You can buy paintings by Stephanie Harris online here.

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