Meet the Makers ~ Bonnie Gray

Meet the Makers ~ Bonnie Gray

THE MAKING OF WILDFLOWERS Reading Meet the Makers ~ Bonnie Gray 15 minutes Next On Set Of A Floral Wander

Where are you currently located?

I currently live in Melbourne, down the most dainty cobble stone alley way in Carlton North.

What inspires your artwork?

There is a lot in that question and how to start is easy haha .
I would say Let’s start with Europe, France. I find that the inspiration that has met me has been a large collection of moving experiences that I have encountered throughout my travels over there.

It’s the constant moving around , I say moving because the more I move the more I see miraculous mo- ments and constant invitations to be apart of a moment, a beauty, a person, words, a making, a scenery, seeing others inspired by life and meeting new people.
Interviewing life with a curious heart is my ease and blessing. Sitting amongst the large array of beauty that is in both people and their personal sacred journeys and also the sacred landscapes of mountains and oceans create words and ideas in me. I can’t really explain other than using the word refreshing, life not only inspires me but it is a refreshing place for me. I think all the artwork that comes out of me comes by a simple way of openness I found by the simple gesture of solo travel. I was greeted by a constant encounter of openness, I love being over seas, the South of France is where I chased sunsets with my dear french gal pal jess. She would chase high high peaks just to show me the colours and the whole surrounds that showed me not just the ocean but the mountains that could only be seen by being on the peak. Her love for movement and seeing life inspired my work and also encouraged me to try and do hard things. She challenged me daily to climb and always make it to the top of mountains and not settle on the sides but got to the top.
These walks woke so many ideas in me. The last mountain I climbed with her, I sang a song that day, literally haha and dropped tears because the beauty I saw whilst knocking my shaking unfit knees was seeing sights I had never seen before. It was so worth it, I saw something, I beheld something so grand and great, the word that kissed my imagination was Wonder. I felt such a kiss from something beyond me, saying ‘’ this Bonnie is wonder you are encountering WONDER and it will fill you with so much refreshment’’ I didn’t realise beauty refreshes you to the point you actually have to make something after.’’

Beauty compels you, its like a flooding well and it just refreshes you and everyone that is dehydrated by the beige of life. I received so much that hike, flood waters of refresh- ment. It was words, poems, colours, shapes, ideas and a side of very dusty feet. I loved seeing my dusty feet at the end, they were not pretty, they were disturbing hehe but they showed me, you went some where hard and different to what you are used to and it was worth it. I saw something so overwhelming glorious that I had no idea that when I arrived home I would flood my brushes with what I caught and encountered.

My paintings are this moment. I paint this moment again and again, the dust on my toes is where the dusty concepts came from. The interviews I had with new friendships is how I go about working with my clients and hiding there love throughout the dusty layers. The people encouraged me to ask love questions, not fear questions and now these love questions are in my process working with commissions. So much on this trip taught me how to conduct and dance my business. I am so thankful for this solo venture.



Can you describe your creative process?

My creative process is very ADHD lol lets call it my bop about creative cycle.
Mondays are very practical for me , I have to start the week strong to make it easy for the flow. My dyslexic self needs encouragement to execute the challenge of the screen so I tend to sit in really beautiful Melbourne cafés to help me execute efficiently. With a good coffee close at hand helps me be present also I love my noise cancelling headphones, it silences everything and gets me into such a good present state with my clients and I can really hear what they desire and want, silence is help- ful, I literally don’t put music on, just silence. Being in cafes helps me a lot because seeing everyone around me busy working gets me working like girl show up and get it done. I sketch out the ideas, prepare the canvas orders, colour palette, then writing poetry is after all the systems, invoices, all the questions are answered,’ poetry time.

Tuesdays to Fridays, are creative, all blessed creative days. I try to make the artful time so lost and present, so Tuesdays to Friday Is where I sketch and paint. I have become so strict with my creative time that I leave my phone in another room. I start right on 10:00am giving me space to morning cleaning, or things that will literally distract me from creative process. Working from home I have to self manage so I have learnt what distracts me and I Have found them space and time so they don’t blah themselves in my work time.

Wednesday are my new sacred day. I used to have Mondays but again my world has changed more surrounding invites have expanded my weekends so Mondays have become practical and Wednesdays are my solitude days. I find myself going to gardens, hills, valleys, oceans, and there I have my spiritual time With my creator. I find myself in such a prayerful experience, Of chatting in and out in my car, my journal, my thoughts, sketching what I’m hearing. I feel so loved and seen in this space and always directed again and again to the valuable the large depths of love that reminds me of the joy and what a joy it is to serve my clients out of a thankful space. I find life can sneak its way to numb, tire and guise itself to encourage things that aren’t worth too much brain time on so Wednesdays help encourage to be apart of life differently, to love clearer and from a place of inspiration and inspired revelation rather than lack or tiredness.

What are your absolute must-haves for a day in your studio?

I cannot start the creative process until I have a collection of pre-washed paint brushes, a bucket of fresh water, my table set with prepped paints arranged in their colours and shades, my water jug for hydration, a french pressed coffee for all those moments of contemplation in between painting the canvases, and lastly my timber clip board with my map and game plan - this is my creative process in scribbles.

Do you have a specific theme or message in your art?

My theme and message is to narrate my bower-birding revelations in life, I’m working on something that I caught in Paris a while back so the visuals are completely different to the south of France sunset pinks. I think the message is revelation, to reveal truth honestly, in the hope that both men and women are reminded through visual concepts of whom and who they are. Identity is always in my heart, I feel the nerves in life’s nervous system can be anxious and I pray my work is healing to those anxious nerves that are in those that are on a hunt for truth, peace and healing. I always pray my work speaks and heals those that are feeling loads of fear or confusion. The symbols I make are designed to anchor truths to re- mind ones reasons why they love their family, what love and its difficulties mean at times we forget, how upside down life and love can be. The complexity of life, the richness and goodness of life, the inheritance of whats inside and available for us, creating reminders that there are safe foundations and pure heart foundations one can find rest and peace in. My art, a book mark into reminders of whom we are.

Tell us about your journey into Art, were you artistic as a child?

My journey into art was always something I played with. It has been a really easy sway for me. I believe we all have a ease grace sparkle in creativity, I believe creativity should be defined broader than just a paint brush expression it is in everyone, to create a solution, idea, to tie a string of words together even to ask a bigger question than usual or a more honest answer to a question, an equation, a making of a meal, there is more about creativity than we allow ourselves to believe we live from, we all live from a state of constant creativity. The opposite of creativity is passivity, tapping out, heart in pockets and mind copying everyone arounds script. Creativity is generosity a giving out from a place of honesty, a playfulness, a pure heart.

I was nurtured in constant life play, my mother was my teacher. She would show us kids how to create anything out of nothing. She had no money just imagination. She loved us girls through the ideas she had. She is one that I truly honour in this space of creative play in my life. She would literally love us girls through op shops, through baking, through the connection of loving us by long lengthy play it was super creative. The way I talk is my mum, haha I hear myself saying things about trees on the street, how I wipe the side of plates when I’m serving them out to my friends, how I love visitors by setting up their bed leaving presents at the end of them, this is my mum, generosity in the way she involved her self in life. She would execute her movements from a place of love not perfection but love. Her hands, I loved loved watching them dance in the kitchen, her guidance on how to finish a project for school, hot to create from the most excellent places within us not the bland places but the generous places is my inheritance from her. She taught me how to be apart of fearless colourful creating. She is playful in her generosity and I live from this place because the way she displayed this quietly. I am so blessed to have had no screens, no electrical beginnings just heart to heart eye to eye playfulness. This has made my creativity incredibly inclusive, not one to be solo but to add others and share with them generously. I think there is rich communion in creating with one another. Without the money bracket or brief, but the play time. I am apart of life deeply, joyfully, intentionally, prayerfully because miraculous communion happens when you create.

Creativity is the most generous way to live.

What is your definition of beauty?

Great question, beauty is incredibly large, its pure, so darn pure. Beauty is perfume, once we allow love in first beauty permeates. I feel like love is bigger than beauty, I feel like beauty is the aftermath of love, the catalyst growth, the effects of love is beauty. Love is interesting to me, I find love the very quest my heart keeps learning about. Love invites us into spaces unknown to us and we learn to be true because love embodies honesty, purity, truth, and from there so much integral seeds are planted. We love out of a place from selfless honesty that’s true love, love requires honest generosity and generosity is creative. Love means generosity to me, creative generosity and beauty then cannot help but permeate after and flourish. When you love from a selfless place, sometimes it can be challenged it can be really hard because you have to learn from others who have creatively gone before and been on the very journey you are on to love on earth the situations that desire a depth of growing in love that is only found by humble listening and learning, community. This is where the challenge of beauty planting in moments is required. Are we pioneering beauty on the earth or creating more fear weeds in moments? I feel like encountering love is where we change and the earth changes, gardens in people start to wake, the earth starts to change, families heal and we begin to create more beauty amongst communion in both mediocre life moments and then in artful expressions. I feel love is found in listening, may we listen, and listen from humble soft places and not be passive with our encounters or revelations but share by our love actions because beauty cannot help but blossom and grow in these environments. Watch the people grow healthier and the earth grow its gardens.

How do you find beauty in the everyday?

Honestly.. I find beauty by my heart quest to follow God in every new day I wake in. I feel this to be so true for me personally . Sometimes I find myself sitting in the most wild moments I didn’t see coming. I feel like time pauses in beauty moments and I get the gentle guide to just simply lean into a moment a little longer than usual and love. For example one time I was working and a gentle hello was next to me. A 70 year old man was inquiring and we talked about all the things, the hardships and blessings life holds then he shared his own poetry, he still texts me poems hes writing. I might find myself needing to just walk down my street for a coffee and engage on one page from my favourite writer john Odonohue who studied beauty and challenge myself to see something differently. Or I engage with water, a stroll to a pond, the ocean or a fountain, I adore water I run at it like a little girl excited to open her Christmas present haha. God entertains beauty in me and around me. I feel most beautiful around God and being apart of his hand hold lead in each new day. That is most where I find beauty.


What are your simple pleasures?

I love my date nights with my partner Anthony, we swap each week with a pursue night where one week I surprise him on a date and the following week he surprises me. It’s so sweet to see what he comes up with but then also I love seeing his face get excited with my surprises.
I love love Good times pasta, my mates own this incredible pasta restaurant, its such a welcoming space, candles lit, funky vibes and the people are just great. Sometimes I like to hover in their kitchen and chat.

I love a bike ride. I think this is a joy , this feels freeing to me, the stumbling on cafes, parks, enjoying the roads and and seeing the life happening is just a huge delight.
I love a dance with my girl jazz, being wild on the dance piece with her is hilarious. Just a golden time really.