I paint in oil and I work from life as much as possible. I try not to rely on photographs because I end up copying instead of feeling. The painting process is important … the mark making, the edges, the values and of course the colour. Painting is a series of decisions … make the mark, … how does it look? Too much fixing spoils the honesty of the final piece.
Gibsons has been my home for 8 years and I’ve been painting for 30 years. With the people, the boats, the reflections and the landscape there is always inspiration to paint.
My work springs from a love of printing fabric – be it recycled bedsheets , old
poly. sheer curtains – worn linen tablecloths or silks – and a love of all things
botanical. The fabric pieces are laid out & covered with fresh foliage – wrapped &
tied tightly around a wooden rod & then steamed or submerged in a natural dye
There are many avenues to explore: which botanicals print —what results
happen with different dye preparations & how long they are left, both in the dye
& afterwards, before unrolling. Searching for a clear image has prompted me to
keep experimenting as to which plants in the garden or on my daily walks have
tannin and will give a clear print on which fibre. Lately the paper, used to prevent
a mirror image happening in the process, has become an exciting addition as it too
Concerns have centred around the use of the term eco-printed & what is or
could be in fact toxic – & what processes are not sustainable to be passed on as
Living on the Sunshine Coast has allowed me to explore my relationship with nature and the emotional truths to be found there. The impetus for this series was a quote from Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Wind’s Twelve Quarters: “Each of us gets lost in the forest every night, alone.”.
Photographs were shot mainly with the plastic Holga camera or a number of pinhole cameras, several of which are homemade. All images are captured on film or photographic paper. Much of the process involves specialized darkroom techniques and manipulations, including masks, multiple exposures, negative and/or print distressing, solarization and alternative processes such as cyanotype and Van Dyke brown printing. Each piece is a unique work of art, hand printed by myself in the darkroom.
Creating art is the means by which I understand and explain the world around me. I focus on finding the inner meaning and beauty, often in the mundane, seeking the edge between light and shadow where fact and fiction become one, where secrets and truths reside.
Kim Oka is a Sunshine Coast artist, as well as a mother, and studies mindfully based art. Her work includes mixed-media pieces influenced by botany, anatomy, and other natural sciences; her imagery can be contemporary or drawn from the past. She is inspired by and draws on organic materials she finds in nature. She uses encaustic medium, from local bees, mushroom dyes and pigments as well as conventional mediums.