We were just a tad excited (well, a lot excited but we had to contain ourselves) to meet Kirsten Jackson. Kirsten is one of our fave artists here at Show+Tell and we had all only dreamt of owning one of her pieces some time in our lives so when we contacted her we were blown away not only by her skill as a painter but also her ability to juggle her marathon running, workload and her beautiful kiddies.
After losing both her parents by the age of 14, Kirsten started running and doing art at the same time. Allowing her to escape the pain of losing both her parents. She has now had SO much success in both of these areas that we feel very lucky to welcome her to our site today. Kirsten is a very special lady that turned a sad situation into an incredible story of resilience. She is proof that if you work hard and believe in yourself, you really can achieve whatever it is you set your mind to.
Today we chat with Kirsten and check out some of our fave pieces from her collections…
When did you start painting?
My father passed away when I was three, and after two years my mum remarried. I grew up in a household with three younger brothers and after my mum died of Leukaemia when I was fourteen I was forced to grow up very quickly. Shortly after my mum died I competed in the school cross country race and loved how the running made me feel. I also found a love of art and colour. Both running and art let me escape from the pain of losing my parents. After I finished year 12 in 1987 I was accepted into university to do a degree in human movement. I completed my first year and did not return to finish the degree instead I found myself selling life insurance with National Mutual. This is where I met my husband “Jacko”. We married in 1996 and lived in Balwyn. I had Taylor my daughter in 1997 and Alexander my son in 2000.
You’re a mum, a marathon runner and an artist, how on earth have you had time to grow your business a? When did you decide to go it on your own and make this your career?
It wasn’t until 2003 that I rediscovered my love of art and painting. I started painting to create my own version of a fish painting that wasn’t for sale. I never made a conscious decision to make a career out of painting it just happened over time. I loved painting and with time my paintings progressed to a point where I was happy to show them in exhibitions and knock on gallery doors asking if they would represent my work. (This is where selling life insurance previously helped me as I was not scared of rejection!!!!!!!!!!!!!) My first exhibition was in 2004 at the Canterbury art show and this year I am exhibiting there as the feature artist! The children were young when I started painting in exhibitions and supplying galleries so I painted in the garage around their busy schedules, kinder, school, swimming lessons , etc………. I was also and still do run around 90-100km weeks for marathon training. In 2006 and 2007 I qualified for a championship female spot in the London marathon racing against some of the best distance runners in the world. Finally in 2008 I came 3rd female in the state for the Victorian marathon championships held at the Melbourne marathon running 2hours 58 mins.
How hard is it for you to juggle training, painting and motherhood?
I am busy all the time but I love being busy. I love painting, running, being a mum and the last three years I have been coaching a squad of young runners. Every Sunday morning I am up at seven doing a long run from 24km-36km depending on what I am training for. It is now a habit it would be harder for me not to run!!!!!!!!!!
What has been the most rewarding and most challenging part of being an artist?
The most rewarding part of being an artist is making people happy. I love receiving emails from customers telling me how much they love their painting.
As you know, we are so in love with your work and now each have our own pieces, can you tell us the process of coming up with a new piece and how long it takes you to get to the end product?
When I paint I do not work consciously it just happens. I love colour and watching a painting evolve before my eyes! With some paintings they take a few days with different layering others can take months. With all my paintings when I finish them in the studio I bring them into my home for at least a week to check I love and am happy to send to their new owner, gallery or show.
What is your most fave piece ever? Do you own it or did some lucky duck get it?
My favourite painting is of my mum! She is a happy face in our home with us!!! I can smile at her everyday.
What’s up next for you in 2015? What can we look forward to?
This year is busy I have the 2015 Asia Contemporary Art fair Hong Kong, 2015 London Battersea Affordable art fair, Singapore affordable art fair, Seoul affordable art show, Art2muse gallery Double bay Sydney exhibition, Canterbury art show feature artist.
What is your Show+Tell item…something you just can’t live without…
My most loved possession my racing flats I love running fast!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
To contact or follow more of Kirsten check out the below: