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Say Hello to Our First "& Co's"

Updated: Nov 8, 2022

Introducing Our First Guest Artists

When we created Isbell & Co, there was a very intentional reason as to why "& Co" joined our name. You see, throughout our adventure together we have had the pleasure of connecting with some very special creatives - artists whose work and processes have inspired and moved us in some way. As such, it was our hope to one day be able to share some of these gems with our community.

Friends - today is that day!

So it is with great pleasure that we welcome and share with you our first "& Co's": Christine Munce & Clare Brady.


Let's get to know them a little better:


Christine Munce - Australian Artist

As you know we’re a bit of an “International brand” … Christine tell us all where in the world are you located?

I live in Pokolbin which is in the oldest wine growing region of New South Wales, Australia, the Hunter Valley. It’s about 160 kilometres north of Sydney.

What’s your favourite thing about this place?

I am currently living rural.

As a self confessed architecture addict, I do love the vibe of the city and am constantly torn between urban grit and the deep-


breathing open green of the country. But, now I live amidst gently rolling green hills, forests of eucalypts and wide vineyards. I live in wine growing country. I love the distant layering of mountains that surround the valley, the cold winters and dry heat summers, the air and the seasons which are perfectly represented in the growth of the grapevines. My eyes and my soul need the curves of this Australian wine country landscape.


What inspires you as an artist?

The narrative and accident in shape, form and detail of objects and environs. For a few years now, I have been drawn to look down to what is near my feet, on the ground. The discards of nature and man; the ironic beauty and contrast of what is thrown out and the spaces in which they temporarily exist fascinate me. These discards are revised in my ink drawings and watercolours. I see objects in terms of the abstracted narrative. All my works ask the audience to read the story.


Can you share a bit about your creative adventure so far?

I was trained at National Art School in Sydney where my art practices were drawing, painting, printmaking and photography. These four years were followed by teaching Visual Arts at several secondary schools in New South Wales and existing education as a Creative and Performing Arts Head Teacher. I then fully focussed on my development as an exhibiting Visual Artist, further exploring abstract acrylic painting, ink drawing and most recently, watercolour. I am currently working towards a new exhibition in 2023.


Why do you work with your specific medium?

I chose to learn the techniques of traditional watercolour painting, so I can break them.

I enjoy the unexpected that occurs when a very fluid watercolour flows over the rag paper and black ink drawing. I am then challenged to solve this creative problem; mixing colour directly on the paper, pushing the watercolour here and there; experimenting to create texture; overlaying colours for tone… wet on wet on wet.


What’s your favourite place in the world ?

I cannot say just one place, because travel is discovering the new and learning the unknown.

I’ve been fortunate to be able to travel a little… these are are handful of countries and places that warm my heart and make my eyes smile. They each offer unique experiences and memories.

Venice, Japan, Edinburgh, Singapore, Belfast, Orange, New York, Chicago, Florence, Barcelona, Madrid,Norway, Scandinavia, Spain, Ireland…discovering the new and jumping into it.


Any hot tips for a traveller to eat/drink here?

Eat and drink where the locals eat and drink.

Investigate the supermarkets and food stalls.

Go to the small cafes off the tourist strips.


Can you pick a favourite colour, or two.

My palette keeps returning to cool blues, olive greens and golden rusts.

Are we allowed to know about anything new you’re working on right now?

Exploring ‘ the vessel’ and returning to my roots in abstract

painting.


If I wanted to keep following your creative adventure, what’s the best place?

Instagram…@the.hunter.valley. traveller

Clare Brady - Australian Artist

As you know we’re a bit of an “International brand” … Clare tell us all where in the world are you located?

In a little town south of Sydney on the NSW coast of Australia.


What’s your favourite thing about this place?

It’s on the coast surrounded by a National Park. Where the bush meets the sea.



What inspires you as an artist?

Architecture especially historic buildings. But in contrast I love the close up details and colours of nature especially trees.


Can you share a bit about your creative adventure so far?

After retiring from teaching I have had the time to concentrate on drawing. Something I didn’t have much time for while working full time but always wanted to return to. I attend regular drawing classes at a regional gallery on Drawing Concepts and help run a weekly Life Drawing class with models. The life drawing is a great way to study the human form and focus my eye on all those tricky aspects of foreshortening. Working with pen, pencil, gouache and paper (sometimes) concertina books - my art is transportable which is great when travelling.


Why do you work with your specific medium?

I love working with ink and graphite on paper because it allows me to get lost in the details. As well it’s easily transportable when travelling.


What’s your favourite place in the world - why?

At this moment it’s Reefton, New Zealand because I’m there. A historic mining town with friendly people surrounded by endless braided rivers.


Any hot tips for a traveller to eat/drink here?

Coffee and sponge and jam roll at the Broadway Tearoom and Bakery.


Can you pick a favourite colour, or two.

I love green especially emerald and olive green.


Are we allowed to know about anything new you’re working on right now?

Studying the landscape paintings of some of the influential women artists of New Zealand such as Rita Angus and how they presented their mountains and rivers.


If I wanted to keep following your creative adventure, what’s the best place?

Mainly at local and regional Exhibitions at Hazelhurst Art Gallery and the Continuum Art Society.

A huge welcome to both Christine & Clare from The Isbells. Explore their Guest Artworks for Isbell & Co by clicking below.

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