Studio Visit with Genevieve Bessell-Browne
There are some moments in life when you just have to stop, take it all in and think “WOW“! When I walked into Genevieve Bessell-Browne’s home and studio, this was one of those moments. Genevieve is a collector. Beautiful, vintage, porcelain figurines cover every horizontal surface, and some of the walls. There are flowers and plants everywhere and then there’s the art. Paintings featuring the beloved collection of knick-knacks, vintage fabric and other objects cover the walls. I was in heaven!
Genevieve’s work is so vibrant and quirky it is a visual feast, and I gorged myself! The photographs I’ve taken do not do the space justice, see for yourselves…….
Genevieve Bessell-Browne is the third and final artist we are interviewing in the lead up to our next exhibition Three Journeys, featuring work by three sydney based artists; Jan Spencer, Rita Orsini and Genevieve. Three Journeys open on March 6th with “Meet the Artists” drinks on Saturday March 9th from 1.30pm, we’d love to see you there.
Tell us a little about your background. How long have you been making art?
I've always drawn and painted, and I majored in Fine Arts at Sydney University. Years later I took some workshops at the Sydney Botanical Gardens in botanical illustration which set me on a more serious painting path. A workshop at AGNSW in old masters’ oil painting techniques started me on my oil painting journey.
How do you choose your subject matter and mediums? What draws you to the subject and medium?
My subjects are all things I love, from vintage china ware, figurines and fabrics as well as plants and flowers. I am attracted to beautiful, interesting or quirky designs and shapes.
Talk us through your process.
I set up my composition, spend some time on a preparatory drawing, then many hours on the underpainting. I then apply layers of colour glazes. These usually need a day or two to dry, so I always have at least two paintings on the go. I use fine Italian cotton canvases as I love the smooth finish.
Where do you find inspiration? Who or what are you influenced by?
I’m inspired by all the objects I have around me in my studio, which are mainly things picked up in markets and op shops. I follow many wonderful artists on Instagram and get ideas from them. A few of my favourite artists are Lucy Culliton, Cressida Campbell and Chris Canning.
What’s next for you?
I’ve been focusing on fairly traditional still life, but now I feel like a return to figurine portraits and hopefully something a bit on the quirky side!