Moruya painter Carleta Delac, is the new featured artist at The Gallery in Mogo until 30 July.
Carleta who was born and spent much of her early years in Papua New Guinea, pursued a long and varied career in nursing—including twenty-six years at Moruya Hospital—before being confronted with retirement.
Above: Carleta Delac. Photo Ben Marden.
She says, “After 46 years of service, I was at a bit of a loss about what to do with myself, so I tried the University of the Third Age (U3A) and eventually joined an acrylic painting class”. Carleta hasn’t looked back since making that decision less than three years ago.
Loving both colour and fun, Carleta celebrates both in many of her artworks.
“Flowers in the Pond”, one of Carleta's first paintings, can be seen in the featured artist show—a semi-abstract explosion of tangerine coloured blossoms that seem to have fallen and settled on a swirling surface of blues and yellows. Unconstrained by tradition, Carleta practises an unusual method of painting that she describes as her ‘credit card’ pictures. She uses a credit card to apply and spread colours for the background and different, cut up pieces to shape the more detailed focus of the artwork.
Her subjects range from birds to trees to flowers of all sorts and she has no hesitation in placing people in her paintings.
Her landscape painting “Attenborough’s Daisies”, was developed from a scene on one of David Attenborough’s nature documentaries and depicts large yellow and orange daisies dominating the front of the picture while compositionally framing a middle ground of green and yellow vegetation fading into a background of dark green hills and blue sky—all carefully shaped with a plastic card.
But otherwise, Carleta goes out with her camera and photographs local scenes that interest her and develops them into artworks back in the studio.
Carleta is especially proud of her portraits—also shaped with the card. At The Gallery, there is a display of her studies that capture not only the likeness but also the personality of the subject. She says, “It all started when I took a photograph of a friend and turned it into a portrait. This led to other people bringing me photographs and asking for a painting”.
Carleta usually requests more information about the subject and will often incorporate parts of their lives and interests into the portrait, such as the “Tiger” motto of a Commander’s squadron or the coloured silks of a horse racing identity.
The Gallery is a co-operative venture of the Creative Arts Batemans Bay Society Incorporated (CABBI), a society open to local arts and crafts practitioners. People interested in finding out more about CABBI should drop in to The Gallery, Mogo or phone 02 4474 2243.