Creative Spotlight | Emma Elise Petterson

Published on 17 May 2022


Tell us a bit about who you are and what kind of creative work you make.
My name is Emma Elise Petterson. I am a 26-year-old, self-taught watercolour artist from Sydney. I paint out of my home studio where I explore still-life, with a particular focus on Australian native flowers. My work is known for its texture, colour, and a play on perspective. I have focused on sharing my love of nature, patterns, and everyday objects and personal treasures. I am also a teacher, currently working at an art studio. This allows me to combine my love of teaching and art. Watercolour will forever remain in my heart as my most art favourite material.Emma-Petterson-2.png

Who or what inspires you?
Firstly, my love of Henri Matisse, David Hockney, Vincent Van Gough, and Margaret Preston inspired my colour choices and subject matter and begun my love of colour and texture. I also find inspiration in everyday life. Whether it be a cut lemon from my kitchen, a cute teapot I saw at an op shop, a shell I picked up on a walk, or a fabric pattern that I see while out and about. Inspiration can be found everywhere and in little things. 

Emma-Petterson-3.png Are there any special processes, techniques, or tools you use to make your creative work?
I use a lot of masking fluid in my work, which I apply using a ruling pen. I don’t use any white paint in my work, which requires me to rely on the white of the paper. This latex solution allows me to go in with bold, dark washes of colour without having to be as careful when applying paint. Peeling this fluid off my work once the paint is dry is one of the most satisfying parts of my process.

Emma-Petterson-4.png What’s your favourite part of working as an artist / creative?
Being an artist is the best job in the world! As a little girl I dreamed of being an artist, so to be able to say I have achieved that is amazing. It still astonishes me every day that my art has been sent and seen all over the world. It’s such an amazing thing to have so much support and love from others in the creative community. They really are the best bunch!

Do you have any top tips for emerging artists and creatives just starting out?
Emma-Petterson-5.png If you are thinking about starting out as an artist, don’t let fear hold you back. I was scared to share my work with others for years and it’s something I regret. Be brave! Listen to the feedback of others, and never stop creating. Be prepared to work very hard. There is no substitute for practice and understanding your medium. I spent hours and hours creating colour and mixing charts to understand the complexities and properties of each pigment on my palette. You can learn so much just by experimenting and applying paint to a page.

Where can we find out more about your work and get in touch? Please provide links to website or social media

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