Can you tell me a little bit about you?
I am currently based in the Bellingen Shire, NSW, Australia. I studied fine art at the University of Newcastle and informally continued developing my drawing practice under Dr. David Middlebrook.
What do you like most about working where you do?
I live and work in a small coastal town. It’s slow pace with little distractions apart from the natural world. My studio is an old 60s garage disconnected to our home. Large mango trees and garden projects surround the work space and occasionally appear in paintings.
What ideas are you exploring in your practice?
My work engages a variety of themes that shift from utopianism to self-reflection to environmental catastrophe. Most recently, interpreting the Australian bushfire disaster has been at the forefront of my subconscious.
What is your process like?
My practice is mostly intuitive. A work could take between a few hours and a few months. I would generally have some ideas crudely drawn up and written about before attacking the canvas and allowing the composition to develop organically. Sometimes references to art historical are planned or are implanted throughout a work.
What is the last thing you read?
Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe.
What are you passionate about?
I enjoy time in the water, swimming or surfing. Gardening, permaculture and time with my young family.
Is there any subject or theme you’ve been particularly interested in lately?
My mind is entirely focused on the current Australian bushfire disaster, climate devastation and political corruption.
What is the most surprising response you’ve received about your work from someone?
That it inspires them to keep their Christian faith.
What do you do when you’re find yourself in a creative rut, or feeling unsure about what direction to go?
Revert back to drawing. Draw what ever is around. Copy drawings from pictures you like. Spend time in water, relax.
What does it mean to you to have a “community?”
I am quite isolated where I live and haven’t met many artists. My community is maintained through phone calls and is an important part of sharing criticism between people I can trust to provide an honest response to work.
Do you have any routines or rituals in the studio that get you into the mode or mindset to make your work?
My work & family commitments only allow me to work from 8pm onwards. I would normally drink coffee & then beer or mint tea. I find that painting at this time allows for a heightened meditative state of mind. I listen to a variety of music, usually instrumental.
How significant has attending art school been on your practice?
Learning art history is crucial. However I don’t follow any of the technical rules that I was taught. I would like to further my study in the future. The guidance of a good mentor is invaluable.
What do you find most daunting, challenging, or frustrating about pursuing art?
The financial side of maintaining a practice is incredibly frustrating.
Galleries only wanting work they think will sell rather than good raw honest painting.
How would you define “success” in art?
Success is simply creating work. The more time you are able to find to make work, the more successful you are as an artist.
Are you involved in any collaborative or self-organized projects?
I run an online social account @australian_artists that explores contemporary Australian Art and Art in Australia.
What are you working on right now?
Paintings relating to the Australian bushfire disaster and the isolating feeling that this crises is providing many people in my country.
Find more at nickpont.com and on Instagram @nick_pont!
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