The Art Of Intuition With Painter Brenda Kay

A translucent dove emerges from a deep red rose. Within the whirling cosmos, a lone tree floats, encapsulated in a bubble – a cosmos of its own…

50 years after discovering that she could draw portraits, Sunshine Coast artist Brenda Kay is finally ready to share her work with the world – just.

At 63, Brenda is a strong believer that the creative process drives itself in to fruition when the time is right.

“Experience tells me that there is a perfect time and place for individual pieces to come through into reality,’ she says. “Patience is my greatest friend in my creative process.”

From this patience has emerged body of art both deeply personal and universal which the artist herself describes as enigmatic, provoking, meaningful.

Age With Attitude - The Art Of Intuition With Painter Brenda Kay

Born in to a working-class family of 6 in Brisbane, Brenda left school at 14 to work in an office so that she could contribute to the household. Though encouraged to pursue art as a hobby, the possibility of attending university or studying fine art was out of reach. Her drive to create, however, never waned.

50 years on, Brenda now celebrates the freedom of being unencumbered by the formality imposed by traditional training in the arts.

“I am not trained in any way and this has been a very deliberate choice,” she proclaims. “I prefer not to be driven by a mental process to create from the perspective of how things should or should not look. My work is entirely intuitive and emanates from my heart and soul.”

Brenda acknowledges that her work may not appeal to those “whose priority in art is to see everything in terms of the science of balance, form, shape being portrayed in the same way as a trained artist…My art comes through me not from me…”

Age With Attitude - The Art Of Intuition With Painter Brenda Kay

Seeming to harness the energy of ideas needing to express themselves, Brenda creates as if by instinct. Yet, listening to the rhythms of the heart to allow a piece to unfold, is no simple matter. It takes courage.

“Painting is not a relaxing pastime to me. I find it spiritually and emotionally overwhelming at times and it drives me and scares me sometimes in its urgency as it appears on the page.”

The drive to create, however, sees her rise through setbacks, challenges and fear.

Brenda has spent most of her adult life as a carer, first of her children, then her late husband, now her mother. For the last 23 years, she has followed a spiritual path, working as a natural healer both here in Australia and overseas.

While she draws on the spiritual in her art, Brenda’s aim is neither to teach nor explain but to open up the space for viewers to intuit meaning from her work – to see things from a different point of view.

“My art tells a story, she says, “but the story is to be felt and experienced internally by the viewer rather than told outwardly.”

The world around her, images fleetingly seen in books or internet, quotes from philosophers and authors, friends, family, meditations and life experiences provide inspiration for Brenda’s colourful and sometimes other-worldly images. Reminiscent of Dali in their dreamy playfulness and of Vermeer in their ability to capture and savour a moment, her vibrant pastels are set to draw you in to a familiar, but ethereal, world.

“I love to describe sometimes complex spiritual concepts in a single image. It is not about people “getting” what I paint on a conscious, mental level but my aim is to ignite a deeper awareness or response not necessarily one that can be explained or described in words.”

Rather than an understanding of its meaning, Brenda hopes her work brings an “overstanding” – initiating fresh viewpoints and a sense of seeing the subject from a higher perspective.

While her work is passionate, in the moment, and underpinned by her spirituality, Brenda is a firm believer that there’s no right or wrong way to express oneself creatively…

She encourages other older people (everyone) to take up art.

“The biggest fear in my experience is that you are not good enough and will be judged and/or ridiculed.” Brenda’s advice is to let go of worry about what others think of your art. This will make it easier to “remain in the joy and presence of the work.”

“Ageing is a mixed blessing.” While sometimes frustrated at her body not co-operating with her as well as she’d like, Brenda sees the wisdom of life experience making her work more meaningful both to herself and to those who view it. She feels she now has greater freedom of time and energy to express herself creatively and is at last preparing to share her work with a broader audience.

“I would love to see my work touching people’s lives in galleries, homes, businesses,” Brenda says, “anywhere that the energy of my work can be absorbed and be beneficial to those who view and receive it.”

It’s taken 50 years for Brenda to bring her work to the public. If the elegant and intriguing works she’s shared so far are anything to go by, it’s been well worth the wait.

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