Based in Cairns Australia, the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, artist Petra Meikle de Vlas creates brilliant abstract mixed media works inspired by the turquoise waters near her home.
Mostly self-taught, Petra rarely follows conventional art methods and has developed a technique of her own. In addition to paint brushes, she uses her hands, air guns, spray bottles, a blow torch, and gravity. Typically working in large formats, the artist “sculpts” her paintings, starting with a board upon which she layers various materials. She loves to experiment with different methods and tools so that she is always learning. This series of works is from the artist’s “Colourscape” collection inspired by the Great Barrier Reef. This series represents the results of mixing media, with chemistry between pigments creating dynamic compositions as they attract and repel, sometimes resulting in beautiful formations. Each work could have several layers, starting with the original layer of poured paint. Petra will then sand the surface of the paint to uncover patterns that may lie beneath. Based on what she finds, she will often rub ink or paint to stain and add additional color, finishing each work with a layer of varnish.
Petra’s work was selected last year to be featured on the Australian TV show “The Block”, which has given her work wide exposure in Australia and beyond. She was also recently awarded Art Lovers Australia’s 2020 People’s Choice Prize for her piece “Ashore.”