Dialogue 22 | Trudy Rice

I love using color. At art school I was told to ‘tone my colors down,’ but now in my practice, the colors have come alive. My final works on paper are made by printing layers of solar plate etchings. My initial drawings are placed in the sun with a photopolymer plate and etched into the plate, washed out in water, dried in the sun and then inked and printed onto paper. It is quite a time-consuming process, but the results produced capture my drawings perfectly from the natural environment.  

Hello, dear Trudy! Could you tell us more about what role Australian nature does play in your art?

Trudy Rice. Playtime on a Winters Morning (framed), 2018, author technique: solar plate and monoprint and printmaking methods on paper, 42.5 x 51 cm

There is such an array of beauty in Australian flora and fauna.  So much inspiration. I am totally drawn to the outdoors.  Funny I actually live by the sea, but I don’t like the sand!  I would much rather walk out into the bush and smell the gum, wild rosemary and see the bees buzzing about on a grevillia.

Could you share with us what or who had influenced you to create art?

There are so many influences.  We have so much to see on the internet and at live exhibitions.  I love looking at many types of art and often it is one line in an artwork that I really love and take that into my arsenal of references.  The impressionist always come to mind, the way they capture the light.  I love botanical art however my work I wouldn’t call truly botanical. Living artists such as Lisa Sewards, Tara Axford and Bronwyn Rees amongst many also influence me in their creative lives.

What is the message behind your art?

My whole being is about protecting our natural world.  Everything from the materials I use to the content of my art are indicative of my work.

Trudy Rice. Baby Wattlebird and Liriope (unframed), 2020, author technique: printmaking method of monoprint & solar plate etching on paper, 28,5 x 19 cm

You are giving online and offline masterclasses, workshops, and courses and have also expanded your art into many products such as homewares, greeting cards, and wearable scarves. Could you share with us how it is being both artist and an entrepreneur? Do you manage it on your own or you have a team?

I must say my arts business has grown into something I could have never dreamed and still continues to grow!  I do find it difficult to separate the business from the creative.  I think you have to make the business creative, or it becomes a bore.  I find setting aside blocks of time to create means I really go back to what I really love.  I am a bit nerdy so I don’t mind being on the computer, but being hands on with my art making is really key.  Without my creations, there would be no business.

My team is my amazing sister Jenny who works for me part time, keeping my social media on track, doing website edits and packaging orders plus being an amazing sounding board for all my wacky ideas.  I also work with Kathee Gunn who helps me with PR.

Could you give some tips to emerging artists on how they can build their personal brand and raise the sales of their artworks?

  • Keep working at your art
  • Be true to your ethics and beliefs
  • Never stop learning and experimenting
  • Good things take time, no one is every an overnight success
  • Find a good business coach. I can recommend Alyson Stanfield’s workshops.

We would like to hear about your current or planned projects. Could you share it with us?

I am currently working on a 6 metre art mural for a private home, a new body of work for an exhibition later this year and a new line of linen products about to launch.  I’m super excited about the new range.  Using every bit of fabric from the design with a range of homewares products called the Garden Love Collection.

Trudy Rice. Waratah in My Garden (unframed), 2020, author technique: printmaking method of monoprint & solar plate etching on paper, 29 x 41 cm

Read more about nature influence on art:

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