We at TAE are big fans of artists we discover daily – whether we go through social media or randomly stumble upon art and artists, especially those with quirky things about them. Such an example is Alex Tebb, better known by her moniker Alex Louisa, an Australian fine artist who specializes in painting various types of birds using various media including oil, acrylic, charcoal, and PanPastel.
Based in Brisbane, Alex Louisa has a writing background having graduated with a degree in Journalism and Creative Writing. However, her art seems to be her main focus, with 8 years of experience as a graphic artist before finally focusing entirely on her personal art.
This gallant effort has earned her a lot of recognition, having been featured in various publications since 2009, including Queensland Homes – Autumn – “Design Pilgrim – The Lust List: Design, Art Life + Style” in 2014 among many others. When you check her website’s bio, you’ll be impressed she has also become a finalist in various competitions:
- 2012 – Finalist – Marie Ellis OAM Prize for Drawing – Highly Commended
- 2013 – Finalist – Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize
- 2014 – Finalist – Lethbridge 10000 Small Works Prize
- 2015 – Finalist – Lethbridge 10000 Small Works Prize – Highly Commended
Back in 2008, she had her first solo exhibit in Brisbane, at Jugglers Art Space, and everything flowed on from there. From local recognition, her work now reaches an international crowd – she belongs to the PRISMA Collective, where 30 artists from all over the world get selected and featured.
We were easily impressed by Alex Louisa’s work, as she has a keen sense of beauty expressed in her works, all while experimenting with mixed media. She mainly works using oil paints or various drawing materials, and often draws birds and fouls, with the occasional other types of flora and fauna. Mainly, she works on anything from nature that grabs her attention, all while juggling being a mother to two boys (twins!) and as a loving wife, and host to a large German Shepherd dog.
“I live in a semi-rural area south of Brisbane with my husband and our twin three year old boys,” she tells We Are Scout in an interview last year. They live in a place filled with birds and trees that “spark my painting ideas.”
You may be imagining, what it’s like to be an artist and a full-time mother. It’s no walk in the park, but Alex Louisa makes it work. “As a work-from-home mum much of my work time happens at night, right when there isn’t any great light to paint by!” she explains. “On the rare occasion I can sneak past my boys’ room before they wake up and get a tiny bit of work in while the sun rises.”
A question in mind is why she stuck with traditional when digital seems to be the trend these days in art. “By the time I graduated I found myself applying for the one and only Graphic Art job that was advertised instead,” she recalls. “I’d barely even used Photoshop and ended up in a job where I was doing digital art all day. I didn’t even know on my first day that the thing sitting in the middle of my desk was a Wacom tablet, let alone how to use it.”
“I spent the next 8 years doing digital art for a day job, and my personal traditional art at night and on weekends,” she said. However, shortly after giving birth to her twins, everything changed. “Once my boys were about 12 weeks old, my brain kicked into gear, and I found I could be really productive in the little time I had, and I feel my work really improved at that point.”
The fascination with birds goes way back. She confesses on her website that she collects things including feathers, leaves, shells, and many others, then paints them. The thing about birds though is that she truly loves making art about them! “I really, really like painting birds,” she says. “And it is always feathers that captivate me the most. My first word was “bird” and I’ve enamoured with the creatures ever since.”
“I have found that I like to take something very small, and represent it at a much larger scale so these details can really be exposed. By experimenting with a combination of soft-focus and highly detailed areas, I can draw the viewer’s eye to the area that captivates me most, like the tiny layered feathers on the wing of bird no larger than your thumb,” she explains.
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