Pip Spiro

Jo Hoban
Thursday 12th January 2017

We love the vivid watercolour paintings of Brisbane artist, Pip Spiro. Her painterly works on paper are inspired by her lush surrounds in south-east Queensland, including meticulously detailed botanicals, fresh produce and contemporary still life scenes.

Our Brisbane duo, Jo Hoban and Mindi Cooke recently stopped by Pip’s home studio to find out more about her work.

People often remark that Pip Spiro’s watercolour paintings are very ‘Australian’. ‘This is lovely to hear, although I’m never quite sure what it means!’ Pip says. ‘I think it comes down to my take on watercolour being quite bright and vibrant, and that I paint things that feel like home to me, so perhaps it feels this way for others too.’

The artist draws her inspiration from ideas of familiarity and nostalgia: ‘I’m drawn to painting from the world around me, for instance, breakfast about to be served, or blooms in nature. These are simple scenes, but it’s the memories they stir that make people connect with what I paint.’

Starting her career in advertising, following a Business Management degree, Pip couldn’t deny a stronger creative pull. Having studied art throughout school, she reconsidered her career possibilities and then made a slow transition, working part-time while she established an art practice. ‘I took the plunge to do it full-time about three years ago, and it’s been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made,’ she explains.

Pip’s photorealistic watercolours are deftly rendered on thick, French cotton rag paper. ‘My style is quite realistic, so I work from life and lots of photos!’ she explains. Over the past couple of years, Pip has been involved in a number of group exhibitions. Outside of that, she’s worked largely on commissions, enjoying the challenge of working collaboratively with her clients on theme and subject matter.

The arrival of her first baby in June last year has marked a change in direction Pip, who isn’t taking on any new commissions just at the moment. ‘I’m really looking forward to letting the next phase of my work evolve on its own, and I’m aiming to have an exhibition this year,’ she says. Watch this space!

To see more of Pip’s work and see what is currently available in her stockroom, visit her website here.

Brisbane-based artist Pip Spiro in her home studio. Photo – Mindi Cooke for The Design Files.

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