Jo Waite is KAB Gallery’s second feature artist in this year’s Contempo exhibition. A series of six paintings are currently exhibiting at KAB Gallery and I recommend you head in to see them soon! Her impressive representational style highlights her ultra keen eye for detail and creative aptitude. This particular series depicts famous Australian destinations in Sydney we all know and love.
“I tend to paint what I know and what I feel connected to. I grew up in Sydney and spent a lot of time in The Rocks area … so it feels very familiar to me. I think my paintings hold a lot of nostalgia for me and hopefully others as well. I began a “Trip to Town” series earlier this year and found so many inspiring subjects to paint that I’m still going. It seems to have transformed from a “series” into a life’s work.” Says Jo.
Some viewers may see her work falling into the realist genre, however Jo prefers to think of herself as an artist who paints detail rather than as a realist painter. It is a joy to look at Jo’s paintings and become lost in the whimsical stories within each view. There is always more to discover with every look – details and imagined stories emerge each time I view these works. Groups of people going about their daily lives who each hold their own stories and connections with the landscape engage the viewer, encouraging us to step into their shoes and imagine their narratives.
The level of detail in each work transports the viewer directly into the scene, in many cases encouraging them to briefly relive their own experiences and memories of the location. However the beauty and incredibly impressive artistic nature of the works also engages with those who may be completely unaware of the location.
A dedicated full time artist, Jo’s life-long love of art has seen her constantly drawing ever since she could hold a pencil. Take a look at these adorable photos of her below!
Working mainly in acrylics due to her inherent impatience with oils, Jo loves to paint landscapes of urban scenes which evoke memories and provide a chance for her viewers to reminisce. She “delights in the details”, with the prefect painting scrutinised over for many hours in order to create a scene which will continue to surprise and delight the viewer after many views. Lucky her motto is that a day spent not creating art is a day wasted.
Jo is a studio artist, and although she tries to maintain a steady workflow throughout the day she is often struck by the strong creative urge between 10pm and 2am. She explains that this quiet time is clear of all distractions and daily life interruptions. Her work at the upright easel requires commitment and patience, illustrated perfectly by Next Stop St James in which the hundreds of wall tiles included in the scene were meticulously worked on across several days.
Outside of her Sydney landscape scenes, Jo’s other great artistic love is creating still life compositions, which please the eye and satisfies her need for the “pretty”. As winner of the 4th Annual Small Works Art Prize in Gosford (November 2017) and the Still Life section of the 2018 Sydney RES, Jo’s style of painting is very much in demand. Certainly an artist to watch!