Sheryl Billings in 1800’s clothing

I started painting for relaxation after a diagnosis of repetitive strain injury and carpel tunnel surgery from typing and other repetitive jobs from my workplace. When I first started Art, I had three teachers, including Carol Boothman, who was a mentor and president of Waverley Art Society in Victoria, Australia.

Now I am a self–taught Artist because of the chronic pain I experience everyday. I also wear bandages on both of my wrists and hands for support while I paint.  Because of my disability, I will turn the painting upside down on the easel for easier access and it can also take a few months to finish one picture.

I study from Art instruction books and DVDs. When I had some trouble understanding colour, I studied a book called ‘Colour: a course in mastering the art of mixing colour,’ by Betty Edwards. I have also studied a book called ‘Paint Skin Tones, with Colour and Light in Oil, Pastel, Water Colour,‘ by Chris Sapar. I found two DVDs very helpful, as well as ‘Colour Mixing and Theory,’ with Mary Gibilisco and ‘Focus on Colour Therapy‘ from the library of Kingslan and Gibilisco.

My inspiration comes from lithoraphs, prison photos or history about Ned Kelly.

I researched the information for Ned Kelly paintings from the Knox Library, the internet, Old Melbourne Gaol, Beechworth and also Ned Kelly historians. I will then first design a sketch from the history and then paint my picture.

My mediums of choice are oil paint and pastels.

I have a fascination with 19th Century clothing and the Goldfield’s Township of Sovereign Hill in Ballarat, Victoria.

I love to paint for relaxation and have a fascination with light and colour.

My art subjects can vary between people, animals, landscape, beachscapes and the bush ranger, Ned Kelly.

For the last twenty years, I have done many Sovereign Hill pictures and I also enjoy wearing 19th century dresses, which I call ‘Life Imitating Art.

My art has been published in the Courier-Ballarat Newspaper in 2001 and the Riverina Herald, Echuca in 2003.

In 2006, I had my first art exhibition at Sherbrooke Art Gallery in Belgrave. I have also received coverage of it in the Knox Leader Newspaper in October 2006.

My art has also been published in Artist’s Palette Magazines (Issue No. 86, 135 and 141).

The Knox Leader Newspaper published an editorial of Ned Kelly’s Committal Trial Oil Painting. In the editorial, I was also considered to be this country’s leading Ned Kelly Artist.


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