Interview with Linda Buller

Q. When and why did you start to paint?

When I was 11 I won a small prize for a colouring competition at a building workers picnic. I felt amazed and a little clever. People encouraged me. My young life was so topsy turvy, painting brought me back to myself. Took me away from harsh reality, gave me a sense of wonder and magic. In everything else I felt so stupid, painting gave me some self-respect and a goal to work towards.

Q. Did you study painting in a formal sense?

Yes, my mother supported me, and when I was 14 years old, she paid for me to study at a small painting studio in Townsville. At twenty, after the birth of my son Craig, I attended the Bendigo Institute of Technology for a "Diploma of Fine Arts". During the third year my father and 'best friend' died. I left. I moved back to Melbourne and got a job driving trams. I became one of the performance poets and painters in Fitzroy, for ten years, and maintained a painting studio in smith street Collingwood.

Q. What inspires you?

The landscape, Mount Stuart. I woke up with the sight of Mount Stuart everyday, mesmerized by its majesty, its many shifting feelings and faces, blackbirds, desert, blue water, lush rainforests, colours of the rainy season. Australian artists who paint the stark Australian outback - Nolan, McCubbin, Olson. People - I always studied their faces. People are so funny. When I was young I decided I couldn't paint people. Now I love to paint people. They are nothing special. And dogs. Dogs saved my life and gave me love when it was missing. So in a way I sometimes see life though dog's eyes. I guess, I'm inspired by all creatures on this beautiful planet great and small, they all belong to God and are here to be revered and treated with respect and painted.

Q. So what is your philosophy?

"Louise Bougoise" world renown sculpture, says for all artists, "art is necessary to remain sane". I guess for years I felt the same. Now it's different. I am not so tortured. I paint in search of serenity and my own gentleness of spirit.

Buller Gallery


Linda Buller

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