Monday, July 25, 2016

Local Profile - Nadine Dudek

Nadine is another local artist after my own heart - we both share a love of all things bird! She was also another of the smiling faces, which stood out in the crowd at my recent talk at Hatch Contemporary Arts Space in Ivanhoe, and who contacted me afterward to say thank you.  I've had a plethora of native birds in my backyard over the past year including powerful owls, cockatoos, galahs, rosellas, lorikeets, spotted pardalotes, tawny frogmouths and wild budgerigars and I love that career-change artist Nadine is just as entranced by our feathered friends.  Read on for more about Nadine...
Name: Nadine Dudek
Occupation: Artist
Lives/works: Viewbank
How long have you lived/worked here? I’ve lived in Banyule for 15 years, 8 years in Macleod and 7 in Viewbank.
Describe yourself:
I was born in Melbourne and raised in Canberra where I went to university to study science. My father had told me I was going to be an engineer, I lasted a single physics lecture before I told him he was wrong. I travelled down the career path of science for twenty years, studying and working in Melbourne. Along the way I had read enough magazines, books and inspirational quotes to be sure that at 40, something big would happen. So it was that just before my 40th birthday, possibly spurred on by the panic of reaching the next decade, I decided I needed a career change and took a giant leap into the unknown. I should qualify that - at first it was more like a toe in the water. While my reckless self wanted to quit science and become an artist, my sensible self told me perhaps I needed to see if I was any good first. I embarked on 18 months of part-time science, part time art, which in reality meant I did both half-heartedly. In November 2015, I finally made the decision to leave my old life behind and pursue a second career as an artist. Both terrifying and exhilarating I am yet to regret my decision and have found that many of the skills I developed as a scientist are surprisingly useful as an artist (I do miss looking down a microscope).

Now I spend my days in my studio painting wildlife. My medium of choice is watercolour, although every time I go to a demonstration or talk, I find myself heading to the art shop to buy something new (focus, must focus). I feel so privileged to be able to do what I love every day.

Best thing(s) about living/working in Melbourne’s north-east:
When I first moved to Melbourne I lived in Carlton, and often succumbed to the lure of Lygon or Rathdowne St. When we moved out to what my colleagues disdainfully referred to as ‘the burbs’ I was delighted to find there were enough excellent cafes and restaurants in the area to keep my inner foodie happy with the added bonus of plenty of cycling and walking tracks to balance the visits to said establishments. I enjoy that I live surrounded by greenery and still have the delights of the city within easy reach. Given my affection for painting birds, I also love that my garden is full of Eastern Spinebills, wrens and wattlebirds rather than the sparrows and pigeons that frequented my porch in Carlton (which possibly makes me a bird snob).

For more information:
Mobile: 0416 966 290

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