Jenny Malloy has been described as a very generous lady who is always willing to help out her peers. Jenny’s artworks are award winning and truly unique. We catch up with Jenny to find out more about her creative passion.
You’re heavily involved in the Sawtell Art Group, aren’t you?
Yes, I’m a member of the group and a member of the building committee which has just completed the extension of the Sawtell Art Gallery. I’m also on the main committee, which does things like the newsletter. I put in about 30 hours a week over there, so I’m very heavily involved. We’re trying to help move the centre forward.
So how did you first discover that you had a passion for creativity?
It was way back in high school … we all did art classes back in those days. I was inspired by Salvador Dali, because he was so different. I thought, “Wow … someone has actually produced that out of their mind, and what a fantastic mind he must have!” I’d seen earlier drawings, and he was an architect in his own drawings, so he inspired me from about the age of 17. Then I went on from there … I took on some lessons and kept going.
What formal training have you had?
I was with the John Oxley Galleries back in Tamworth, and I’ve done a little bit of private tuition with some really good artists. I also did TAFE back in the early ‘80s. I didn’t do university. I thought about it, but I didn’t really want to go down the path of their formal training, because usually everyone comes out at the end thinking the same and painting the same.
I wanted to and I encourage my own students to develop their own inner artist and not to get pigeonholed into a certain way of thinking or painting. So it’s virtually about allowing yourself to grow as an artist.
How would you describe your own style?
I go backwards and forwards between contemporary, abstract and traditional. If you look around my studio, you will see I have traditional, slightly mixed media, leading into contemporary and a bit of abstract work. It’s usually the abstracts for me that win the prizes. I won last year’s exhibition at Sawtell and this year’s 25th annual exhibition.
What are some of the accolades you have received?
I have won a few over in Tamworth and a few little ones in Coffs Harbour in the past. I have been encouraged to participate in the EMSLA award, which might be something for the future. I think it’s about having the confidence to go there first.
So you obviously use a lot of different mediums for your art. What do you use, and why does it work?
I find that pastels are really easy to use, and I have portraits in the studio where I have used pastels. In saying that, I also have portraits in acrylic, as well as oils. I guess I’m really versatile as an artist. I love the freedom that mixed media gives you … you can throw in splashes of colour and the different ways of actually painting and get that end result. With your oils, it’s the more traditional work, and I love that as well.
How hard is it to control your art work?
It is fairly tricky. In saying that, people will come along and they will try and paint straight up; but there is a process that all students need to go through, which is usually drawing first, then go to acrylics and oils, then work your way into water colours. I was always told that it’s like being a carpenter – you need to lay down your foundations before you build your house. It can sometimes take years.
What’s your favourite media to work with?
I’d have to say mixed media, because you can throw all those medias that I have previously mentioned into one painting and come up with this beautiful result.
Where do you draw your inspiration from for your artworks?
Living locally here on the coast, a lot of it’s drawn from the sea and our coastal living. I love this beautiful coastal, casual lifestyle that we have here – nothing has been spoilt. I draw a lot from what’s around me, whether it’s family, friends, life in general.
You mentioned Dali earlier as one of your inspirations. Are there any other artists that you have followed?
I love Brett Whitley and of course, he is not dissimilar to Dali, if you know a bit about his work. I just love the way he distorts things and the way he will take a common bird, for example, and produce it and pull it and really stretch those lines artistically. With a simple line he can give you a story which I believe is just fantastic – a true sign of artistry.
So would you say abstract is one of your favourite things to create?
I’m inspired by abstract and the thought processes that go behind it.
What pieces are you working on at the moment?
We have a beautiful new teacher at the Sawtell Art Gallery, who has just retired up here. She has challenged the artists to do a master to display on the night of our Masters Exhibition next year. I’ve picked Turner, so I’m working on one of his pieces at the moment. The Exhibition is a fundraiser, with proceeds going back into the art centre.
Aside from at the Sawtell Art Gallery, where can people view your work?
They can visit my website: www.jennymalloy.snappages.com