Willows Home Traders Aug 2014

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Still riding the wave of excitement after our trip to Melbourne we wanted to share with you one of the lovely people we met whilst there. Melbourne based artist Antoinette Ferwerda originally studied Graphic Design at RMIT, but spent 13 years working in the pharmaceutical industry, balancing her art practice with a corporate career.Eventually after many years selling her paintings to friends, family and clients, Antoinette took the plunge, and launched her business, Ferwerda Art, under which name she now creates a great variety of work – from paintings and works on paper, to vibrant painted palm pods, and wall murals which combine collage and paint.Antoinette is based in Hampton in Melbourne, where she worked from her home studio, often happily interrupted by kids Tehya and Lawson. We took 5 with Antoinette to ask her about her new series of works and life as an artist.

Willows: What has inspired you for your latest series? What themes did you explore?


Antoinette: My latest series has been inspired by beach walks and fossicking in rockpools – the sea has amazing colours, patterns and shapes!  Water reflections, rocks shaped by waves and patterns in the sand, thick belts of kelp washed ashore with coloured shells…we recently spent some time at Inverloch and I took a billion iPhone photos, just to remind myself that nature is the most accomplished artistic genius.


W: How do you work? Do you have a ritual to get you in the mood for your art making?
A; My back garden studio is my haven and I always work with music….the digital radio is switched on as soon as I step inside…  I like to start a new painting in the morning….must have a good coffee…. I think my best ideas happen in the mornings…..working late at night is usually when I’m finishing an artwork.


W: Do you have a favourite piece?
A; A hand-painted palm pod…..there’s a palm tree in my garden which grows amazing seed pods annually, dropping about 4-5 per year.  After painting one of these pods and taking it to my first LifeInstyle trade fair, it became my signature piece.  I am ever so grateful to my palm tree for collaborating consistently every year with me.


W: Tell us about your relationship with Greenhouse Interiors and their influence on your exposure? 
A: The first time I met Julia Green we shared a big laugh, a down-to-earth attitude and a desire to work creatively together.  Greenhouse Interiors continually encourages me to be the best artist and designer that I can be!  Julia tirelessly backs me 100%,  fostering the business side of my passion – my art making is enhanced with brand exposure, sales and marketing by Greenhouse and this is vital to make my art dream a reality.


W: Whats next? Do you have a dream project?
A: Each day I’m creating my original artworks and limited edition prints, a gallery exhibition will happen this November and my next designer towel collection “Ninho” arrives this December….my dream projects are actually happening and I’m extremely grateful everyday.


W: Red, White or Bubbles? 
A: Bubbles please!
Cheers! Thanks for taking the time with us Antoinette, we love having your work on our walls!