I was very fortunate to grow up in a home surrounded by art. My dad, Gert Grift, was an accomplished artist and always encouraged my crazy, creative ideas, regardless of how much mess I made! We had a studio at home and my favourite thing as a kid was to watch my father work, learning by osmosis. The biggest lesson this taught me was not to be afraid of art and I witnessed the process of how a work was created.
When I finished school I drifted away from art, drawn to a career in journalism and writing. When my son was born in 2005, I found myself looking for a creative hobby and started drawing and painting again, my dad offering his gentle encouragement and advice with each step. Just before my daughter was born in 2008, I started taking a beginner’s class at a community centre, but family commitments pushed it aside again.
A few years later I asked my dad if he would teach me, and a couple of friends, some art basics in his studio once a month, to keep me going. This was a treasured experience. When dad passed away in 2014, I was at a loss, but spoke to Alan Close at
Whitehorse Arts and decided to join his class. I haven’t looked back.
I love texture and colour and am forever exploring new ideas and new ways to create. I mostly work in acrylic, but have also tried mixed media and enjoy drawing with ink pen. I have entered quite a few shows and have sold a number of artworks, which is always an incredible feeling.
My journey with art is continuing in a rich and rewarding new way. I left journalism and am currently studying to become an art therapist. I am passionate about the wellbeing benefits that art provides and about introducing new people to art. As part of this I developed the Art Discovery Class for Whitehorse Arts, which I teach on Friday mornings. In the class, I encourage adult beginners to explore their own individual creativity through weekly skill-building exercises, hopefully teaching them to also not be afraid of art. Art is such a wonderful activity to pursue, there is always something to learn and the more you give in to it, the more it gives back to you.