I'm lucky enough to have met people from all around the world, both through my "real" job and also through blogging, who are not only wonderful people but also hugely talented in a variety of subjects. Kerri, from Driftwood Interiors, is one of those people. Not only does she create beautiful pieces of art, but she is also a talented designer and stylist!
I met Kerri several months ago and when I first visited her lovely blog I was immediately struck by some of the artwork she had featured. I didn't realize at first that the artwork was actually done by Kerri, and as soon as I put two and two together, I knew I wanted to do an artist profile on her gorgeous paintings!
Located in Brisbane, Australia, Kerri has clients who call upon her for all of her talents, from renovations to commissioned works of art. I had a chance recently to ask Kerri a few questions about her varied talents, and she was kind enough to share not only her answers, but some of her artwork and design projects as well.
How long have you been painting, and did you study to be a painter or are you self taught?
I’ve been painting for around seventeen years now, when my eldest child was young. Although I always loved art and design, I followed a more ‘sensible’ path after school and went on to a career in financial planning. But I always dreamed of finding a way to make a living from doing what I loved. After being retrenched I decided to take the plunge and started selling my paintings and teaching art classes. I had studied privately with many different tutors over the years, but from there I went on to develop my own style and techniques so I guess for the most part I’m self-taught.
I know you are busy renovating a house, do you have plans to incorporate an art studio into your home?
When we bought our house, there was already a separate office/studio. It was one of the reasons we knew it was the house for us!
Along with being an artist, you are also a designer, what sort of design work do you do, and do you feel that the two are inter-related? Does your artwork often lead to design ideas and vice versa?
I love the fact that I can incorporate both of my passions - art and design - and for me the two work hand in hand. Colour has a huge influence on how we live and how we feel in our homes, and to be able to combine the two is a real bonus. I’ve worked on renovations, from whole houses to just a few rooms, and often I’m asked to paint artwork to suit the new design scheme. I also stage homes for sale, including hiring my artwork for the duration of the sales program. Of course, I also take commissions for paintings to suit existing schemes.
Your paintings are lovely, and I love the large graphic style of them. Along with your beautiful floral paintings, do you also paint other subject matter?
Oh thanks Kat! Along with my floral paintings, I’ve done everything from my current Chinoiserie series, to modern abstracts, and heavily textured multi-media works. I really enjoy a wide range of styles, and depending on whatever my inspiration is at the time, my work will reflect that. Client commissions dictate the style and colour of many paintings, and this will often send me in an entirely new direction.
I know you are located in Brisbane, are you able to ship internationally for those interested in purchasing one of your paintings?
Most definitely! I’d be only too happy to quote on prices and shipping costs for international clients.
How do you feel you've evolved as both a painter and a designer over the years, and is there a signature style or artistic medium that really defines who you are as both an artist and a designer?
I think that, with every new client, new design scheme and new painting, my work is constantly evolving and changing. Trends come and go, but true style never goes out of fashion. As far as signature styles and mediums is concerned, my favourite painting is always the one I’m working on at the time, and I enjoy variety so I’ll paint a series of works of the same style, before moving on to something new.
With my design work, I really want to create relaxed, liveable spaces, which are both functional and beautiful. And I firmly believe no room is complete without at least one vintage or unique piece. I like to design rooms that feel as though they’ve evolved over time, rather than perfectly designed spaces full of the latest fashions.
What do you think is the most important part of your job as a designer, and how do you help your clients define their own sense of style?
My most important role is to give the client a room they love to spend time in, which is a true reflection of who they are. The best way is to ask the client to collect pictures of rooms that appeal, and by doing this, a definite pattern will emerge. Many people can’t articulate what they like in words, so visual clues are a huge help in defining personal style.
Can you give others advice on how to choose artwork for their own homes?
Go with what you love. Artwork should make your heart sing every time you look at it, and if you follow your heart you’ll find a piece that is a true reflection of your personality. Oh, and my biggest piece of advice is not to hang your artwork too high! A good rule of thumb is that the middle of your artwork should sit right at eye level.
I love Kerri's work and I'm so happy that she agreed to let me share it with all of you! I hope you enjoyed seeing her wonderful paintings, and the bathroom and kitchen remodel pictured above are wonderful examples of Kerri's design skills. Like her paintings, Kerri's designs are the perfect juxtaposition between making a bold statement and creating a calm and serene feeling that draws you in!
To see more of Kerri's wonderful designs and artwork, be sure to visit her blog by clicking HERE! I'd like to thank Kerri for providing me with all of the pictures above and for allowing me to interview her!