Capturing Stormy Skies

~Michelle Saleeba

Joanne Duffy is a familiar name in the Perth art scene and with good reason, she is one of Australia's most collectible contemporary painters. With her distinctive abstract expressionist style and use of intense, saturated colour Joanne's paintings are full of movement and emotion as she captures the changing seasons. Her love of the West Australian landscape, and the memories it evokes for her, are tangible in every piece.

Joanne has had a successful year winning both the Rockingham Art Award, Heritage Category and the Wanneroo Art Award, Works on Paper Category. Here she talks about her artistic process, how she loves to get outside to seek inspiration from nature, and her long standing family connection to Defence.

MS: Has creativity or making art helped you with any important life transitions you have experienced?

JD: Absolutely.

Embracing and having confidence in my artwork has been a significant area of self-development. It has been a healing (or escapism!) to tough times & illness.

Very cliché, but (art) painting was a childhood passion and really only life experience has given me the confidence to pursue it.

MS: Our 2018 beneficiaries Tiny Sparks and Working Spirit assist families going through challenging life transitions (premature birth and military to civilian employment). We’d love to hear how these causes may resonate with you.

JD: I exhibited with Army Art a few years ago and was impressed by the dedication and close knit community behind it. My uncle (exSAS) kept telling me about it but I often missed the application dates due to other exhibiting commitments. The event supporting charities is a wonderful community aspect which I’m keen to support.

I used to be a Consumer Advocate for beyondblue and run peer to peer support groups for women experiencing perinatal depression; so the Tiny Sparks group immediately captured my support.

I have family members, both retired and in current Service, so Working Spirit was also of interest. I didn’t know they existed – and part of supporting a charity is also to build awareness of an issue or situation that needs attention from the wider community.

Interestingly I recently went to a high school reunion and we were talking about the changeover to civilian life – 6 of my 62 graduating year went into one of the Australian Forces.

MS: What are the strongest influences on your art?

JD: In a current sense, the natural world around me. Seeing how my local beach, lakes and bush change with the seasons and weather.

A creative journey could be as simple as walking the dog up at Bold Park or on the beach, and seeing what the seasons are bringing or what the weather is doing. This is a catalyst for generation of ideas and concepts. In the studio I start with a number of marks and colours to start the ground work of what inspired me. Or sometimes I may have a piece half done which happened to look similar to a cloud formation I saw on my walk – so I continue on.

MS: What does a typical day of creative work look like for you?

JD: After the domestic routine of teenagers off to school its coffee and to the studio. My home studio is slightly separate from the house so it is relatively easy to “go to work”. Some days it’s a day of photographing work, cataloguing and marketing. It’s hard to do paperwork and paint on the same day due to the switch of thinking! The afternoon and weekends is usually taken up by the boys’ sport so I sneak a few hours in the studio when I can.

MS: Is there a specific inspiration behind your current body of work?

JD: I can’t seem to leave the sky alone at the moment, particularly stormy skies – and the coast. The change of seasons is my favourite time – the endless variation in skies and how the beach changes is a constant source of inspiration.

In 2018 Joanne was a selected finalist in a number of interstate art awards, including: Stanthorpe Art Prize; Lethbridge 10000; Art Lovers Australia Art Prize; and the Camberwell Art Show.

Joanne has a solo exhibition planned for Spring 2019 at Rochfort Gallery in North Sydney.

If you'd like to see more of Joanne's work purchase a ticket to Opening Night Friday August 24th.

Joanne Duffy online:





#JoanneDuffy #Artist #Painter #FineArt #DefenceFamily #ArmyArt


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