HI, I'm Grace Bailey and this is some of my story....

My contemporary realist paintings explore the intersection of the seen with the unseen world. I partner with the ‘other’ to produce glimpses of the supernatural and how it affects us.

Until the lockdowns I painted in live venues hundreds of times….. In multiple overseas countries from an African orphanage to America and England with Fiji and New Zealand along the way, sometimes in front of crowds of several thousand or more.

For a time, I focused on animal and bird portraits of personality traits that people have, depicting the good, the noble and the lovely in people and circumstances. The artsy language defines that as….. metaphors for the human condition…..

Now I've moved back to portraiture with a twist.

who is grace bailey?

grace bailey artist, grace bailey painting, grace bailey arts

The current series, of ephemeral women, who look through layers of reality symbolised by abstracted flowers, birds and insects speaks of the disconnection caused by the lockdowns. By focusing on the inherent beauty, they look out from behind their veils, seeking to be seen. They reflect my years of experience, pain and turmoil as well as the generational legacy of those who came before me and landed here as illiterate women convicts.

We are a family of strong women.

I am the first to have the freedom to develop my creativity.

How I paint.....

I love how paint will take it’s own path if you let it.

Mix pigment with medium and it flows and not always how you expect…..

It was a discovery I made very early when I started off with watercolour. I still love the sensuousness of pigment mixed with medium and allowed to find it’s own way.

That’s where I started. Then I went off to uni and got a Masters in realist oil portraiture and drawing. Despite moving to oils, I used the watercolour technique of loads of medium (turps) and let the paint take it’s own path! It makes for the most interesting discoveries!

I came out of uni all bushy-eyed and believing that I could make it as an artist till I didn’t. What resulted was I closed up my studio and didn’t cross the threshold for 2 years. It was a 2 year dark night of the soul when I didn’t paint at all. I believed I’d failed as an artist because of the difficulties with marketing.

Grace Bailey painting lion

Eventually, I began again, very tentatively, by exploring the deeper, the unseen world. The supernatural and how it affects us. I partnered with the ‘other’ and began painting live. A lot. In front of an audience with a limited time span.

I painted live each week for a year...

The images above are part of a project I did where I painted every week during worship for a whole year. Read all about it in the "Painting With God' book.

I went on to do it hundreds of times….. In multiple overseas countries from an African orphanage to America and England with Fiji and New Zealand along the way. I’ve painted in front of crowds of 10,000 multiple times.

And then came the extended lockdown and a move to Geelong, in Victoria, Australia. It meant more time in the studio than I’d had for years with no overseas travel. It created another shift from works created quickly to those with more detail. It also saw me return to that earlier love of people portraits but now it’s complex and layered with the ‘other’.

Right at the beginning of the painting live journey!

This is a recent podcast I did with Dr Zali O'Dea for Face Equality Week.