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Artist Spotlight by Style Curator Gina Ciancio

Artist spotlight: Discover the colourful, vibrant and joyous paintings of Chris Mercer

We’ve featured many abstract artists over the years but none that use the painting technique of today’s artist feature — Chris Mercer.

From abstract to landscapes, animals and painted collages, there’s almost nothing Chris can’t or won’t paint. We were excited to chat with her about her journey as an artist. 

“I’ve been painting all my life but in 2012 I was diagnosed with breast cancer and it made me stop and think about what I really want to do with my life. The answer was to paint.

“I got back into art lessons where I starting searching for my own style. I had an amazing teacher and I learnt to paint like him but it wasn’t me.

“Through experimentation I discovered my own style. It’s heavily textured and there’s a LOT of paint involved,” she laughs.

Her technique is different to any artist we’ve featured before and we wanted to know how she does it. 

“Oh, it’s just using the palette knife,” she explains, “but it’s taken me a long time to get it. It’s easy if you’re confident, load it up with paint and make your mark — don’t fiddle!”

It’s not a quick process as we discovered though.

“After every knife, stop and take a photograph. Every time. The process has taught me to stand back and appreciate what I’ve done as you only get the overall effect when you step back.”

Close up detail of her work

Some artists we’ve spoken to have a style that’s attached to a particular colour palette (like Jessie Rigby) and others to a specific look (like the abstract work of Marnie McKnight) but for Chris, it’s all about the technique and bold, bright colours.

“I don’t mind what I paint so long as it’s like that [textured and with lots of paint]. Sometimes I’ve done a collage, others are landscapes, and others are more abstract and relaxed.

“I like the variety of it. Sometimes going over the top with colour and other times playing more with texture and movement.”

You may see even more diversity in Chris’ upcoming paintings.

“My goal has always been to be the best painter I can be. I’m always learning and place value on that. 

“The past 12 months for me have involved a lot of selling and promoting [exhibitions] so I’m looking forward to the next 12 months where I’d like to get back into challenging myself painting all kinds of subject matter.”

We can’t wait to see what Chris Mercer creates next. You can find out more about Chris and see her available works on her website here or connect with her on Instagram

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