Women share arty side for a good cause
GOLD Coast Women Artists' new Christmas exhibition at Robina Community Gallery is designed with the school holidays in mind to appeal particularly to parents, grandparents and kids.
That means lots of bright colours, birds, animals, insects, flowers, beach scenes, portraits and fantasy creatures - ideal for children "and not children too!"
Marjorie Fisher is one of nine women in the group, which has been together for about five years.
"Creating art is a very personal thing, so showing your art to others is not as easy as it seems," she said.
Describing the group as "on the older side", Marjorie said they were from diverse backgrounds - from teaching to cake design, hairdressing to print and graphic design to health and mental health.
In Marjorie's case, she was a hairdresser to the stars - literally - including Deborah Kerr, Cyd Cherise and Yvonne De Carlo, working as wardrobe mistress and wig person for JC Williamson Theatres and at Sydney's Theatre Royal, before returning to high school (with her son) in her 50s to study art.
While she admits it was challenging, she said: "I really got a bug for learning and I would encourage anyone who has the chance and wants to, to go back to school."
While united by their passion for art, the GCWA artists range in experience from award-winning to upcoming, and each has a different style and works in different mediums.
That includes water colours, oils, scratch painting, drawing and collage, from abstract to realistic.
Marjorie said the women met while doing art classes at Lucinda's Studio at Highland Park, gaining confidence there to work together and show their art.
They still meet there once a month and "really support and encourage each other".
"And if someone is having artistic issues, we're very free with our advice … it works out for us," Marjorie laughed.
"We can always push for more and better … and every one of us is learning something along the way."
While painting, they discuss things that interest them, from grandkids to world affairs, and other things they feel passionate about.
This leads to decisions about what each exhibition will support - previously helping domestic violence and drought appeals, and in the face of this year's fires, raising funds for the Australian Koala Foundation.
"Putting an exhibition together is not as easy as it seems - there is much more to think about than you would think, especially with a group," Marjorie said.
For Marjorie, this exhibition has taken her out of her comfort zone of collage to straight painting for most of her works, with her focus on things she sees in her garden.
"Sometimes you need a change, and you can't predict what will appeal to other people or what will sell, so you have to paint what makes you happy," she said.
"If it gives you joy, that's great, do it."
GCWA will have more than 50 original works on show at the Robina Community Gallery, 196 Robina Town Centre Dr, until December 15, with everything from cards and giftware to artworks, and prices starting from $5.
Gold coin donations are welcome for the Koala Foundation and 10 per cent of all sales will also go to saving the koalas.
GCWA is Christine Aiken, Regina Bruns, Barbara Graham, Lucinda Leveille, Moonie Patel, Linley Redden, Catherine Wallace, Marjorie Fisher and Naomi Holmes.