‘Now I am trying to work with this formless area, make pictures about things coming into focus, coming into being, like when you dream your house has a room you never knew about’ – Trudy White 2004
Trudy White likes to work with paper, pencils, watercolour, lines, ink, nib pens, texture, words, brushes, biro, fabric, sticks, a computer, collage, acrylic paint, clay, string, coloured paper squares, plasticine, gouache, wire, and textas, in books, on small pages, on large rolls of paper, on canvas, on wood and on old printed pages.
Studio Table & note book
And she writes in longhand, on a typewriter and on a computer.
At the moment she is interested in dogs, typography, languages
and apples, temples, flowers, salt and brown paper.
She has had five solo exhibitions of artwork, been in many group shows and had three illustrated books of fiction published so far (by Allen & Unwin and Curriculum Press) and is in the middle of another book.
Trudy also illustrates other people’s work for books, print media, and design. One book you might have heard of is the novel ‘The Book Thief’ by Markus Zusak, for which she created a book within a book.
She loves to travel. Anywhere.
Trudy White Nightscape Watercolour, ink & gouache on paper 25×17.5cm
In 2006 she completed a Masters in Fine Art by Research at VCA. Before this, she did a few diplomas and degrees in Fine Art and Writing, Horticulture and Beekeeping. For high school she went to Box Hill TAFE’s school of Visual and Performing Arts.
She considers herself very lucky to have been able to follow this path of beauty, feeling, contemplation, discovery and sheer hard work and dedication in the studio.
She was born 1970, Melbourne, Australia, and she currently lives and works in a forest in coastal Victoria.
She has held lots of different part time jobs including dispenser in a Chinese Herbal Medicine Clinic for eight years, toy repairer in a toy library, and gardener to old people.
Once someone suggested that she stop painting for a year. She thought they may as well have told her to stop breathing.
As well as making pictures and writing and things, Trudy teaches drawing and writing workshops to both adults and children and people in between, at schools, libraries and universities, including Monash Universtiy, RMIT, Victorian College of the Arts, Centre for Adult Education, ArtPlay, the State Library of Victoria, NMIT, TAFE colleges, and, one wonderful time, to children at the Cirque du Soleil traveling school.
She has been a Creative Fellow at the State Library of Victoria, and a recipient of some Australia Council and Arts Victoria arts grants to create work.
Trudy White Looking into Water Watercolour, ink & gouache on paper 18x15cm
Trudy White Forms for a Playground Watercolour, ink & gouache on paper 29×20.5cm
Trudy White Double Story Ghost House and Singed Pieces
Watercolour, ink & gouache on paper 35.5×24.5cm
Trudy White Close Your Eyes You’ll Hear the Sound of Branches
Watercolour, ink & gouache on paper 20x16cm
The pictures included in the Works on Paper group show at Boom gallery are from a time before she had children, way back when all her time was spent in the studio or at work or on solo life. They are from her Postgraduate Diploma in Visual Art and Masters in Fine Art research project called ‘Practical Dreaming’ that spanned four years and comprised two solo exhibitions at Crossley & Scott Contemporary Gallery in Melbourne, and one solo show at Seventh artist-run gallery in Collingwood.
‘Practical Dreaming’ was about creativity and daily practice of bringing elements from the unconscious into being, in painting, drawing and in writing. You can read her research paper in the library at Melbourne University or VCA if you are really interested. It is written in poetry, story and non-fiction prose and is illustrated with the paintings, and photographs of studio life. She also made a lot of ceramic stones for the project, and some small press books.
She has written most of a novel also called ‘Practical Dreaming’ which will probably take another ten years to finish. But that is ok.
This Winter she is beginning a period of having more time to spend in the studio, taking a rest from teaching in Melbourne and focusing on making. She is working towards another show at Boom gallery.
Trudy White Orange & Grey Guston Wall Acrylic paint & pencil on paper 175x110cm
Trudy White Pale Way to Leave Acrylic paint & pencil on paper 175x124cm
She thinks it is good to be asked to show works on paper, because for the past twenty years tutors, curators and people who have an opinion have asked if she would paint on canvas or otherwise suggest that working on paper is still seen (as it was in the olden days) as making a preparatory study, somehow inferior to works in oil paint. They are just different things, and it useful to remember that there is such a strong tradition of work on paper in other cultures, especially in Asia. And paper comes in many and varied forms and has its own ways and its own wonder.
Trudy White I Didn’t Draw You, I Only Drew Your Eyes Acrylic paint & pencil on paper 175x124cm