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Artistic discipline: Wildlife in watercolour and mixed media
My passion for art was sparked by: I have been drawing and painting ever since I was old enough to hold a crayon. As a kid I enjoyed coming up with my own characters (usually bunnies) and creating stories for them, in my teenage years I spent all my time after school making fantasy drawings. These days inspiration comes to me from nature: we are so spoiled in Australia with our incredible flora and fauna. It’s the little things that spark joy in me when I go outside – from the honeyeaters in my front yard to the magpies strutting about in the park – birds have a special place in my heart. They have ever since I was a little one going out birding with mum. I love it when people see my art and it sparks a dialogue about our wildlife, it is so wonderful to hear from other people’s connection with their neighbourhood animals and there is often a learning moment (either for them or for me)!
I have been creating for: all my life, but ‘lost the spark’ for a few years in my twenties. The covid lockdowns were the push that I needed to get back into painting again. I started with a pair of little penguins in early 2020 and haven’t stopped since!
When I’m making art I’m usually eating: chocolate or drinking tea – often both!
I’m usually listening to: a podcast when I paint. Favourites are ‘Ologies’ with Alie Ward, ‘What the Duck’ with Dr. Ann Jones and ‘Cautionary Tales’ by Tim Harford.
My work is inspired by: animals! I just love all animals. I spent many years working as a tour guide which has taken me all across Australia. I have been lucky to have had many awe-inspiring wildlife encounters. Teaching travellers about our unique wildlife and conservation has been a very rewarding job. Sadly I now work in an office-based job but I still make time to go out bush regularly. Whenever I spend time out in nature it makes me want to grab my paint brushes and I come home full of new ideas!
My favourite Organic Print Studio product is:the tea towels. They are such lovely quality and customers always comment on how nice they look and feel. They were one of the first products I developed after only selling greeting cards for a long time, and they have been a best selling item since my first batch. I love it when people say they’re too nice to use in the kitchen – luckily they make great wall hangings too!
You can find Leonie on Instagram and Facebook @leoniegarssen.art and her website and online shop is www.leoniegarssen.com.au. You can also find a selection of her beutiful products at OmMade Meet the Maker in Rundle Place, Adelaide, and she is regularly at markets such as Gilles at the Grounds and the Stirling Market.