Danielle McManus’s love of story telling is evident in her colourful, figurative offerings that provide viewers with brilliantly thought-provoking images. Frequently set against a backdrop of a landscape fusing both her Maltese heritage and passion for Australia, her whimsically wide-eyed and naïve figures evoke stories that everyone can relate to.
AC: Your quirky style has a vintage feel to it. What inspires you?
DM: The vintage feel to my work comes from the inspiration I draw from life as a child. A time when life was a lot less hectic. I think sometimes we miss the simple things in life and we are too rushed and busy to take the time to smell the flowers!! I like for my paintings to be serene and peaceful, to draw people away from their busy lives and to relax for a while.
AC: Describe your art in a sentence.
AC: What can’t you live without?
DM: My journal. I fill it with sketches and notes for the next works, I have it on me all the time in case!!
AC: Do you remember your first painting as a child?
DM: I listen to all kinds of music from all different genres. I guess it depends on the mood I am in.
AC: Apart from art what is the next most creative thing you do?
DM: Gardening. I love being outside and growing my own flowers and plants to put in my work! I am hoping to create a little oasis to be able to paint in. I also love to sit and watch the little birds in the garden.
AC: Your work is dominated by large colour fields, how does colour affect you?
DM: I think colour affects all of us in different ways. It has the power to change your mood and evoke emotion. I usually incorporate red somewhere in my paintings, or orange, they are colours that make me happy.
AC: What do you like doing when you’re not painting?
DM: I spend the time I am not painting with my children. Painting takes up so much of my time so I think it’s only fair to spend the rest of the time with them. They grow up so quickly, I don’t want to miss it!
AC: Share something about yourself which would surprise our readers.
DM: This question is a hard one for me to answer as I don’t feel that I am too different or surprising! Maybe the fact that I never set out to be an artist. At first I was going to illustrate books but after being told by a publishing house that I was not pushy enough to get my work noticed I became a graphic designer. Never did I think my work would be gallery worthy!! It was only through a friend insisting that I put some of my ceramics into a local gallery that my career as an artist has all come about. I always feel so fortunate that galleries such as Red Hill Gallery and the others I exhibit in put such faith in my work and give me such opportunities as this exhibition to hang my work with other such talented artists, it is truly a dream come true!!
Danielle McManus will be showing with three other talented female artists in a group exhibition “Women of Substance” at Red Hill Gallery, Brisbane from February 14 until Sunday March 3, 2014.