My Grandmother, Kit, was a Painter. She would paint all night and sleep all day… she said it was too hot in Queensland to be creative during the day. I’d walk home from school and she would still be on the bed in her pj’s reading the papers.
She taught me to paint when I was big enough to hold the brush. One of my earliest memories is of sneaking little sips from the pretty coloured water jars where she would wash the paints from the brushes. So I guess you could say painting has, literally, always been in my blood! Artists were few and far between in the rural landscape of my home town of Rockhampton in Central Queensland, but it was the norm in my family.
My mum, Annette, was a well known speech and drama teacher in Rocky. Mum would cook our dinner at night and then run off to rehearse theatre shows at the Rockhampton Little Theatre Clubrooms - a magical place where the adults used to laugh too loudly while smoking cigarettes and playing dress ups. I adored going with her. I’d take my blanket and pillow and watch them rehearse plays until I’d fall asleep under a row of seats.
These two amazing women are my constant and greatest influences, so I guess it’s no surprise that I became a multi-disciplinary artist myself. It feels natural to draw lines between performing and painting with artworks often being inspired by a connection to music and the memories that soundtracks can evoke.
"When I paint it feels like playing Jazz. It’s a language. A conversation. Sometimes whispered, sometimes loud and boisterous but always full of layers. These layers come from improvisations, influenced by life experiences and emotions. I use conscious themes, tones, colours and techniques, but these are always expressed with complete spontaneity. There’s a newness in each improvised layer that can only come from being present in each moment. Painting feels like an extended jazz solo. But where live performance is fleeting in nature, a canvas will last, hopefully forever."
Highly acclaimed Australian actor Gyton Grantley has worked extensively in film, television and theatre. Best known for his portrayal of Carl Williams in the hugely popular Underbelly series, he won both an AFI Award for Best Lead Actor in a Television Series and a Silver Logie for Most Outstanding Actor.
This artwork reflects the positive vibes that radiate from “sunny” Gyton Grantley.
Inspired by his happy-place memories of Minjerribah, where Gyton’s aura of humour, generosity and love for family, blends seamlessly with the oceanic spectra of this spiritual place. This painting is best enjoyed with an icy cold beer.