I am going to be totally honest, I have been crushing on Ali McNabney-Stevens for ohhhh so long. Her art is INSANE and would make the most drab space look a million bucks. So…I thought you might want to feast your gorgeous eyeballs on her art as well.
Ali was born in Britain and has become one of the most collectible emerging artist within Australia over the last few years. Colour and composition are her serious strengths. She often paints from an aerial perspective and offers us (the admirer’s) the ultimate eye candy (and I’m not talking about Channing Tatum, this may be just as good…yep, I said it out loud!).
We had a little chin-wag with Ali as well as a peruse of her gorgeous works…check it out…
You were born in Britain – why Aussie land?
Yep that’s right I was born in England and the reason I found myself in Melbourne was that I met and married my Australian husband J in London, who after 6 years of living in the UK and the US we badly needed some Australian sunshine. I’m going to be honest and tell you that I wasn’t that happy about leaving my home in the UK but agreed to try two years max in Melbourne. Twelve years on I am still here and oh so so happy about that. I feel very fortunate and lucky to be in such a wonderful city like Melbourne.
Were you an arty farty kid?
No I wasn’t an arty farty kid… I did start to take a real interest in art history and the art room from the age of about 12 and when all others around me were ummming and ahhhing about what degrees they should do, it was never in doubt for me to do an arts degree. I was lucky to go to Edinburgh College of Art. My degree was a Design and History of Art Degree and I have been guilty of moaning in the past about how I wished it had been a full Fine Arts Degree. I can now see however, nothing you ever do is wasted and without the design side of my degree and my never ending interest in the history of art, my thought process wouldn’t be the same when I am painting….my brain seems to be “design aware” when I am working on a painting…so you see, it all seems to have dove tailed.
How did you start creating so incredibly?
I have always kept my art practice going whether it be photography, drawing, or sketching when I wasn’t in a position to paint i.e. no studio or room. After art school it was clear that I needed to get a ‘proper’ job to pay the bills so painting was put on the back burner. After the birth of my children I knew I had to do something for me so I started life drawing classes and courses at the CAE to build a folio of work. I had no idea who I was going to show this folio of work to but it ended up being Julia Green of Greenhouse Interiors. Julia and I are so lucky, (luck plays a big part in things I believe), to have found and nurtured a great partnership.
If you could paint a piece for anyone, who would it be?
Probably Sarah Jessica Parker because I would insist on hanging the artwork in her home myself which would mean a trip to NYC and I’d trade my artwork for a few carefully chosen pieces of her wardrobe and a few pairs of shoes and then we would go out for Cosmopolitans… I think she would be nice.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt about being an artist and working for yourself?
Starting the art, not putting it off and waiting for the muse to come, just getting started and seeing what transpires is important. As for working for yourself?….Discipline about getting into the studio every day OR if you can’t face it getting six donuts from your local bakery, a cup of tea and walking through a book shop to spark a thought.