Burnie Coastal Art Group

July 2014 Kim Loughran


Kim Loughran


I was born in Queenstown Tasmania in 1953 and lived in Burnie and Sisters Beach most of my life. I was very active in the Tasmanian art scene as a volunteer between 1994 and 2007   Amongst my many activities, I taught art at Multicap Lifeskills, was a consultant with Art for Public Buildings, was a member of the McKinnon Walker Review of Tasmanian Schools of Art, was a Member of the Advisory Board for the Burnie Regional Gallery and also Coordinator of the acquisition of works for the North West Regional Hospital.  As Coordinator, I was instrumental in enabling BCAG to install a new roof on its Gallery. 

I love travelling the length and breadth of our beautiful country with my husband Ken in our little wind up camper.  We also go overseas when we can; my most memorable trip was Egypt and the highlight climbing to the summit of Mt Sinai.  We started at 2am to arrive at dawn.  A young girl had carried with her an ox horn and I will never forget the sound of that horn echoing over that holy place as the sun was rising - awesome!!!

What got you into painting?
I graduated from TAFE In 1986 with a certificate in painting 3.   I was also doing a ceramics certificate but only studied this for 2 years deciding to concentrate on my painting and to finish the ceramics certificate at a later date.  Unfortunately this didn’t eventuate: the combination of having a young family, working in the family business and the Ceramics Department of TAFE moving to Devonport combined to make it all too difficult.  My time working for Steven Joyce in his Gallery from 1988/91 was also a catalyst.
Do you have any artistic pastimes outside painting?
Artistic pastimes!! Well I love cooking, reading, walking in the National Park around where I live at Sisters Beach. I also get together with a group of mad keen ukulele players each week for a jam session.  I also enjoy Yoga and Tai Chi and, if I ever get the time, I would like to write more poetry and learn basic welding to allow me to create sculpture.  Then, I have to keep my hand in as a Level 1 Reiki practioner....phew!!!
Are you a member of any group or association?
I have been a member of the Burnie Coastal Art Group for twenty five years.  Over this time I have seen members come and go and have come to value the friendships made and the camaraderie of belonging to this group that was formed the year before I was born. I studied with my friend Margaret Brown for almost twenty years and learnt a lot from her tutoring.  Reluctantly, I have since made the decision to go it alone and now paint with a group of like minded artists at the BCAG studio - we appraise each others work and give encouragement.
Do you have a favourite or preferred medium??
I have painted in all mediums, learnt printmaking at TAFE encompassing both paper and textiles and I have also developed a love of drawing.  I am a jack of all trades and a master of none I have lead lighted, potted, painted, printed, sewn, spun, knitted, crocheted and paper machete even took piano lessons with Mary Hudson at one stage and did a cottage industries course with Elly Austin in 1997 I have learned meditation and am a level 1 Reiki practitioner, I was also in The Burnie Musical Society for a time you name it I’ve probably done it.
What art awards have you won?
In 1992 I won the Major Award for Mixed Media at TASART and in 1994 I won the Major Oil/Acrylic Award again at TASART.  Also in 1994, I was winner of the BCAG Artist of the Year Award.  At the Latrobe Australia Day Exhibition, I won the Major Award in 2008 and the Sue Smith award for mixed media in 2012.  In 2008 I was a finalist in the Glover Prize and in 2009 a finalist in the Hutchins Prize.  A few years back I was also a finalist in the Albury Art Prize.
What was your most rewarding moment in painting?
I have had many - especially those times when everything just goes right.
What  inspires you to paint?
My inspiration comes from the beautiful National Park that surrounds where I live and the people in my life who give me the encouragement to produce art.
What elements do you look for when choosing a subject to paint?
I don’t very often choose a subject the subject more often chooses me
Do you enjoy en plein air?
Yes, but I don't do as much as I should
What is the hardest thing for you to overcome when you paint?
Self discipline - setting allotted times to work in my studio
Do you have a favourite artist or roll model?
I’m a big fan of John Olsen’s work and the Renaissance period
How do you know when you have finished a painting?   
To make the decision that “it is finished”? Hmm!!!  Finished indicates an ending so I think it is more that the painting has been taken as far as possible and the subject has been resolved - if that makes sense.  Being in a structured painting class gives one a sense of security.  Students develop a reliance on the tutor to teach technique and appraise their work I have often heard the phrase “do you think it’s finished”, however at some time I think an artist has to take responsibility for there work.
Do you have any regrets?
I have no regrets I always look forward to the next piece of art.  We exhibit ourselves through our art unconditionally and allow viewers, most of them complete strangers, to briefly get inside our psyche.  That’s scary.....for them I mean.
What advice would you give someone starting out?
Develop your technical skills and try all medium, then, once you have done that, you can break the rules.  Use good materials.  If you sell a piece of work, you don’t want it disintegrating five years down the track.  One of my tutors Peter Baraclough once said to the class “paint firstly for you, don’t sell yourself short by turning out furniture art. You can then be assured that when you do sell a piece of your art work that the purchaser has connected with you in a very personal way”. 
What is in the future for Kim?
I don’t know what is in the future but I will continue to make art, endeavour to do more portraiture, listen to others, be mindful of not taking people for granted and savour each special moment in my life wether it be happy or sad


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