‘Women of Colour’ by Tamara Armstrong – thrilled she has painted me and will donate 20% of sales to the Global Women’s Project

Let me tell you about Tamara Armstrong. Always making art from a young age, It wasn’t until high school that her real love affair with painting began. She later became a full time teacher, staying up all night painting between work days, a predicament in which many working artists find themselves. 5 yrs ago she made a brave choice to commit to being a painter full time.

We met 2 yrs ago at S.H. Ervin Gallery as finalists in the Portia Geach Memorial Award, an all-female identifying portrait prize. I was instantly drawn to this a 6’2 biracial amazon of a woman, not to mention her powerful portrait of yassmin_a. From that point forward Tamara focused on creating portraits of empowered women who live life in brilliant colour and bold substance. When asked how she selected her subjects Tamara shared that “diversifying the representation of what a beautiful woman looks like is something that is very important to me personally and hence my choice of subjects intentionally aims to play its part in subtly disrupting and challenge the status quo.” The inclusion of botanicals and nature with these fierce women pays homage to the times we disconnect and return to nature to draw energy and a greater connection to our inner-voices.

This series has taken her two years to create, and in that time she’s painted murals, run private workshops and art classes and taken other paid jobs to cover the cost of life. Not to mention also being a mother and wife!

I’m honoured that Tamara has chosen to include me as a sitter, and that she invited me to speak during her opening at left bank gallery last week. Each of the sitters has nominated a non-profit for the sale of their portrait, and 20% of the proceeds from my portrait will be donated to The Global Women’s Project, a non-profit we’ve both supported through their ‘Trailblazing Women of Herstory’ exhibit.

Many works have sold, so I encourage you to view (and purchase) the remaining works before the exhibit ends on March 30th!


Supporting Oxfam Australia’s ‘What She Makes’ Campaign

As a maker I stand in solidarity with women like Anju in the image below. Garment workers are incredibly skillful and work hard to make clothing for major brands globally, but they are getting ripped off. No woman should work and create and still live in poverty.

For over 20 years Oxfam has been fighting to help create a fair fashion industry, one that both celebrates creativity and innovation as well as protecting the rights of the women that make our clothes.

Despite positive steps in the industry we are about to embark on our biggest fight yet.  Around the world the women who make our clothes do not make enough to live on – keeping them in poverty. Australian clothing brands like Cotton On and Kmart are part of the system that has created this injustice. The good news is, like previous campaigns we have launched and won – we can create change and fight alongside the women who make our clothes for a living wage.  – Lauren Joy | Campaigns Volunteer | Oxfam Australia

Take and share the What She Makes Pledge at whatshemakes.org

@oxfamaustralia #whatshemakes

It would cost less than 1% of the retail price – that’s less than 10 cents for a $10 T-shirt for brands to pay a living wage. The women who make our clothes aren’t paid enough to escape poverty. No matter how hard they work, they can’t afford basic food and shelter for their families – wage are just too low.

A living wage should be earned in a standard work week of no more than 48 hours. It should provide, for a worker and their family, a decent standard of living. This includes food, housing, healthcare, clothing, transportation, utilities (energy, water) child care and education with some money left over for emergencies / savings.

Find out more at whatshemakes.org

Exhibiting with 100% proceeds going to LGBTIQ crisis & info counseling service, Switchboard Victoria

I am pleased to be participating in a 3-month virtual exhibition to benefit Switchboard Victoria.  The exhibition entitled “series 01 // love” is in response to the Marriage Equality debate in Australia and invites artists to submit works on the theme of love.  Artworks will comprise a set of postcards to be sold, with all proceeds going to Switchboard Victoria, an information and crisis counselling service for the LGBTIQ community who have seen a 25% rise in calls since the announcement of the postal vote.

The aim of this project is two-fold, i) to promote sharing of positive images in light of the hate messages and debate going on at present, and ii) to raise funds for Switchboard Victoria. Images are released weekly via http://www.facebook.com/cartooningwithpride, pre-order your set of postcards today!

– Curator Jimmy Twin

My postcard features ‘Bec and Isa’ oil and acrylic on canvas, 2017.

Find out more about Switchboard Victoria and the amazing telephone and web counseling services they provide via switchboard.org.au

Twitter: @switchboard_vic

Insta: @switchboard_victoria

Donating proceeds to ACF in the month of June

It is up to the people of Earth to speak out and act in favour of a world where nature thrives.  Trump is freeloading on a global scale by removing the US government from the rest of the world’s commitment to solve climate change.

During the month of June I’ll be donating 25% of the profits from my original artwork sold to the Australian Conservation Foundation. This non-profit is creating a powerful movement to drive real change and hold decision-makers to account. 

“We work with community leaders, social movements, Indigenous people, economists, businesses, governments and people everywhere who care and are willing to act.” – ACF

Not interested in an original painting? There are many other ways to get involved and make an impact. You can start small by bringing your own coffee cup to the cafe or bringing reusable bags to the grocery store. Or you can dive in head first by volunteering to make banners, write letters, run events, do research, organise mail outs, and having conversations with people to encourage action. 

This is our world. Let’s look after it. 


lhf_bannerFor the month of May I’d like to share an important organization, the Lesbian Health Fund.  I’m excited to be making a donation to the Lesbian Health Fund silent and live auctions taking place on June 1, 2017 in Burlington, VT.  I’ll be offering an 18″ x 24″ portrait of a single sitter, with LHF covering the costs of materials and shipping.

Misinformation, homophobia among health care providers, and a lack of scientific data on basic lesbian health needs result in dangerously inadequate health care for many lesbians and sexual minority women including bisexual women and trans women who partner with women.

The mission of the Lesbian Health Fund is to improve the health of lesbians and other sexual minority women (SMW) and their families through research. LHF has given over $864,000 to fund 113 research grants and is the only US research fund dedicated solely to the health needs of lesbians and other sexual minority women!

Funds raised from the event will enable LHF to dedicate itself to increasing the body of research focused on lesbian and sexual minority women.

Visit LHF to learn more: www.glma.org/LHF

Queer Art Prize Australia 

Queer Art Prize Australia (QAPA) is a new non-acquisitive art prize to celebrate LGBTIQ art achievements in Australia. I was honoured to be a judge for the inaugural prize exhibition, held at Chapel Off Chapel during the 2017 Midsumma Festival as part of their 30th anniversary celebrations. Queer Art Prize Australia (QAPA) seeks to be a non-discriminatory art prize to celebrate works relating to the LGBTIQ community or themes by any artist who resides in Australia, or works by those identifying as LGBTIQ.

My fellow judges and I sold works in a satellite exhibit to QAPA, with 30% of the sale price donated to Switchboard Victoria, a free telephone and web counselling, referral and information service for the Victorian and Tasmanian lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) communities and their supporters.

Find out more about QAPA via the Prize website

Trailblazing Women of Herstory

So happy to have been a part of the Global Women’s Project ‘Trailblazing Women of Herstory’ exhibit! My oil portrait of the Project’s CEO and Founding Director Briony Mackenzie sold along with several other fantastic artists’ work resulting in $50,630 raised to support programs for women in Cambodia and Nepal! Happy days 😊
Find out more about this fabulous organisation and the exhibition via http://www.trailblazingwomen.com.au/