Wendy Rix has turned a hobby into her profession - and is loving it. In fact, as we celebrate Indigenous Business Month, the contemporary artist from Margate says she has finally found her calling.
Wendy, a descendent of the Yuwaalaraay people from Goodooga near the NSW border with Queensland, has been a full-time artist for five years.
Her work is around Australia and overseas. In this region, it can been seen at Grace Lutheran College, Rothwell and in the Drowned Rat Espresso Bar, Clontarf.
Wendy’s designs are on clothing ranges, she has commissions for indigenous jerseys, her own fabric range, handcrafted crosses in schools, homes and churches as well as tattoos.
She has run workshops at schools, including Genesis Christian College and Grace Lutheran, vacation care programs and done works for the Department of Defence at Amberley.
“I think I have finally grown up and know what I want to do,” says Wendy, whose business is Wensart.
“(Becoming a full-time artist) was a health decision, but I have absolutely no regrets at all. You learn new skills working for yourself.
“One is you have to keep working! But a positive is the time I have for family. That flexibility has helped.
“I think my style is evolving and I think getting better as I get used to the products I use, whether it is on concrete, timber, walls or canvas.”
Wendy has a remarkable resume. She has a DipAppSci (Nursing) at QUT, Bachelor of Nursing at Edith Cowan University and was in the Royal Australian Army Nursing Corps, before working in an Aboriginal Medical Centre and for the Land Council.
She has also been a stay-at-home mum, a working mum, worked in a women’s boutique, had a lawn mowing business, sold food via party plan and recently completed a Diploma in Dementia Care.
Having such a diverse range of careers, it is perhaps no surprise that Wendy rarely plans out her paintings.
“Sometimes I wake up with an idea in my head, other times I have an idea, but I need to work through it, so I lie quietly and pray and then I just paint, and it comes,” she says.
“I rarely plan too much ahead, and rarely actually map out a painting. It grows as I grow.
“I paint in a contemporary, abstract style, drawing from my history and family, about experiences and circumstances relevant to today, although the themes can translate across ages, culture and time.”
Contact Wendy through her website at wensart.com.au