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Inside Artist Abby Lee's Australiana

From gum leaves to Vegemite, Abby Lee loves to paint Australian icons, and the self-taught artist’s intuitive approach has put her on a fast track to creative stardom. Here, Abby shares her inspiration, artistic process and what she hopes her wall art brings to homes.

Geelong-based artist Abby Lee has created two exclusive artworks for Temple & Webster

Talk us through your creative journey.

I have always loved being creative, making new things and bringing colours to life - but growing up in regional Victoria, there weren't many artistic influences. I found my true passion for painting in year 10, when I actually painted portraits first. When I decided to study psychology, I took a break from painting, then when COVID-19 struck, I decided to pick up the paintbrush again. From there, I explored abstracts in the form of my native gum leaf series. 

How would you describe your style?

I practise Australian abstract acrylic painting on canvas and still-life botanica on wooden boards. Australian native flora is a big influence on me. 

What draws you to this subject matter?

It reminds me of growing up in regional Victoria, where Australian flora surrounded our house and farm. I love the smell, the colours and how hardy the plants are. My favourites are gum leaves, banksia, and king protea. 

Clay Earth framed canvas wall art by Abby Lee

What was the starting point for the pieces you created for Temple & Webster?

The process began with the team giving me a colour palette for inspiration - then I completed a few mock-ups, similar to what I do for commissioned artwork. From there, I began painting on canvas laying the base colours and background brush strokes before painting the gum leaf lines to finish. 

Do you plan your paintings from beginning to end or go with the flow as you are creating?  

With all my abstracts, I have a rough idea in mind; however, when I begin to paint and get into a flow, the artwork can always change. Most of my abstract pieces are intuitive - I keep painting and adding elements until it feels finished. I'd say the process is 50-50 with colours planned and the creative freedom to let the painting come to life. 

Gum Leaf framed canvas wall art by Abby Lee

Do you listen to music or podcasts while you work? 

I actually listen to movies! I usually have Netflix on my laptop, listening to my favourite rom-com. Or, if I am feeling musical, I love a chill playlist or '70s throwback. 

What do you hope your artwork brings to people's homes?

Joy and memories. Art should evoke a feeling that sometimes can't be described with words - a feeling you want to bring back into your home and relive each day. 

Check out Abby Lee's exclusive wall art collection for Temple & Webster
Natalie Mell 23 August, 2023

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