Whitney Spicer for Merci Maison
Moving to a countryside property in Manildra NSW became the inspiration for contemporary still life artist Whitney Spicer. With a view to recreate moments we can glimpse ourselves in reflections of the people and things we miss, the places we long for, and the interests we share.
I have created a number of pieces for Merci Maison in my signature still life tabletop aesthetic. The series centres around summer feasting in a joyful celebration of warm festive lunches that carry long into the evening.
Inspired by the Bello Frame and its organic curves, each original painting featuresfluid stripes and striking hues. I wanted to add an element of contrast whilst also paying homage to the historical design influences of this statement frame.
When creating these pieces, where do you visualise your pieces ending up? Paint the picture of the room you see them.
I envision this series styled amongst an eclectic selection of ceramics and canvas’ adorning a grand entry hall, a space that tells a tale of past travels and memories shared with loved ones.
How do you prepare for a new project or piece?
When creating new pieces, I experiment with proportions and placement with both physical elements and pencil drawings on canvas, this serves as the framework for all of my paintings.
Can you talk us through your creative process and how you developed your signature style?
When I first began painting as a hobby, I would look to interiors magazines and the many beautifully styled table settings, or product images and I would paint these. While my love of aerial table scapes remains, my painting style has evolved through many hours of practice and experimentation especially in painting on different surfaces.
Where do you look for inspiration? Are there any artists or muses that have had a particular influence on your work?
I find the work of my fellow Australian Artists inspiring; I have formed friendships with many of these Artists. It is an encouraging little community whose constant support instils me with the confidence to continue to create and share my work.
Artistically, I’m inspired by so many of my peers, many of whom I have purchased pieces from to hang in my own home. While their creative styles are all quite different, I love Laura Jones, her incredible florals and ability to create depth within her works. Another artist I love is Nicole Nelius, her playful still life compositions evoke a real sense of joy. Lucinda Jones is another who I love, one of her prints takes pride of place on my living room wall. And finally, Nicola Woodcock and her incredible depiction of florals, foliage, and shadowing.
From a design perspective, I am in total awe of Amber Lewis. Her eye for pairing preloved designs with contemporary furnishings to create a layered and warm living space is something that I draw inspiration from within my own home.
Tell us about your studio, what does your studio look like, sound like, smell like? What creates the perfect space for you?
My creative space is within an old seed storage shed which has been reimagined as an art studio. When it isn’t filled with the little voices of my three sons, I have my favourite tunes blaring and the barn doors open looking out over our rural property. Beyond feeling like a warm and inviting space, I love a space that features eclectic styling.
My husband and I are currently designing our dream home nestled in the shadow of tall gumsand surrounded by fruit trees. I am dreaming of fresh white walls and French doors that frame the rural landscape. We cannot wait to style our future home with a mix of treasured vintage finds contrasted with contemporary furnishings, statement stones and tactile fabrications.
Where in your home do you go to think, create or be inspired?
I find both my studio and our family kitchen equally inspiring, especially in creating so many pieces that highlight beautiful fresh produce and treasured kitchen essentials.
After a lengthy renovation, we are most thankful for having created a space where we all feel comfort. My children now all have their own little spaces, where they can display their treasures and achievements. I have purpose-built nooks and shelves to carefully curate my collection of bits and bobs, growing art collection, antique pottery and crystal. While it’s been a labour of love, I would describe every member of our little family as a homebody so it’s nice to have a purpose built space that we love being in.
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