Bluethumb - Feature story Annette Spinks

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Nestled between the calm turquoise waters of Anderson’s Inlet and the rugged coastline of Bunurong Marine National Park lies the studio of Annette Spinks. So it’s no surprise the painter has become well-reputed in the capture of the ocean’s ebb and flow – so much so, you’re just as likely to spot her work across international waters. From being one of the first artists to witness the beginning of Bluethumb, to recent accolades including recognition as one of Art Edit magazine’s choice of ‘artists to watch’, Annette’s story tells an inspiring tale of success. We touched base with Annette to discuss her current career movements and what’s on the horizon for her.

Annette Spinks

Annette Spinks in the studio.

Though her style may have grown and developed over the years as an artist, an assuring staple of Annette Spinks’ work is her unabashed enthusiasm and painting from and with the heart. Seeing Annette’s passion for her practice reminds us of the importance of finding love in what we do. Currently, Annette is revisiting her original series of works, which spread across an exploration of rain, florals, moonlight and, naturally, the ocean. "I love where I’m going and growing as an artist and I see it reflected in the newer works,” Annette explains.

Annette Spinks

Wave Series – Spring 2020 is one of the ongoing series exploring bodies of water and the emotions we relate to these scenes.

As a prolific painter of waves and water on Bluethumb, Annette Spinks is now almost a decade into her deep unearthing and exploration of this subject matter. Annette began her Wave Series after moving to the beautiful seaside town of Inverloch in 2011. Being surrounded by areas worldwide known for their beauty, such as Phillip Island and Wilson’s Promontory, it was only natural her aquatic pursuits would become part of her artistic practice. "The Wave series is inspired by actually being in the water, swimming and surfing,” Annette explains. "I connect with the ocean’s ever changing moods – sometimes calm; sometimes wild and stormy.”

Annette Spinks

Fast, fluid and vibrant: Annette Spinks at work on one of her seascapes.

From the shores of Victoria, Annette Spinks has seen an increase in interest, a rise in reputation and sales accumulate from collectors across the world. "I have been so well supported by collectors and galleries. Bluethumb invited me to join them when they first launched and the exposure they have given me through out Australia has been tremendous. As they have grown and become more international, so too have my collectors.” 2020 may have been a rough and rocky year, but just like the bodies of water she paints, Annette is going with the flow. "In the past 12 months, I’ve seen a significant increase in international followers and have been thrilled to be sending paintings to London, China, Chicago, Miami, Virginia just in the past couple of months.”

With acrylic on linen, Annette Spinks layers thick textured paint onto canvas to create bold, crashing waves.

While her recent international success has played an important part in her artistic journey, Annette’s very first exhibition is still the most memorable highlight of her career so far. "I was so nervous when I arrived. I noticed the gallery had put my painting in the front window – and it had sold. I paint because I love it, but to have other people love it too is a feeling like nothing else.” Annette has also invited students and budding artists to her studio. "I get a real kick out of young artists visiting my studio inspired by what I do. I see them lift when they talk about their work. Art is so important on all levels.”

Highly textured Abstract – 2020 is the creation from music playing in the studio, thinking of lockdown and all the things good and bad that have come from it. "An optimism of re-opening and not taking so many things for granted. We live in a beautiful place.”

The role of 2020 for an artist is an unavoidable topic – no one has remained unaffected by the pandemic. Annette has embraced the time to check in with herself on a more personal level. "I’ve moved my studio back home and as much as I have loved sharing my open studio and gallery with people visiting, I am absolutely loving the privacy and being able to stay in my creative zone uninterrupted. I think I will continue to work in a closed studio environment for some time.”

Working hard or hardly working? Annette Spinks makes her job look like way too much fun!

With the end 2020 in sight, Annette’s plans for next year have already started taking shape.  "I am one of those lucky artists who is never short of ideas or inspiration. I’m sure 2021 is going to be another busy year!” Shop available artworks by Annette Spinks on her Bluethumb profile here.