In Conversation: Bec Talbot
Originally from Western Sydney and a recent Gold Coast local, Bec Talbot originally trained as a primary school teacher, however, a pivotal health challenge prompted her to veer down a different path, ultimately leading to her now full-time career as an artist.
Bec revels in the liberating realm of abstract art, finding inspiration for her earthy palette in the stunning coastal and hinterland landscapes that surround her.
Her affinity for acrylics and various mediums is shown through the distinctive textures and intricate details that characterise her pieces. Her works combine the ethereal qualities of textural organic elements with the bold strokes of contemporary abstraction.
Your artwork is so unique - it brings a whole new expression to abstract art. Who, where and/or what do you turn to for inspiration?
My inspiration stems from a variety of sources - personal experiences and the emotions that come with those experiences, as well as the beautiful nature we are lucky to have around us here on the Gold Coast. A deep sense of gratitude further fuels my artistic passion, allowing me to create meaningful piece.
Your journey to becoming an artist started from a challenging moment in your life. Can you share with us a little bit about how you got to where you are today?
To begin with I was a little apprehensive to share my story, but it really is a part of how I became an artist. Back in 2020, right as the challenges of Covid were setting in, I was shocked to be on the receiving end of a thyroid cancer diagnosis. I was happily teaching in a local primary school, but surgery and treatment side effects made it difficult to continue teaching full time. I knew I needed to find something to keep my mind busy as I learned how to live with my new reality, and I needed to find my new purpose.
When life throws something big like cancer at you, you quickly begin to appreciate the simple things. I would walk Burleigh beach and the National Park and really notice and appreciate things like the colours in the water, or the shapes and textures on the sand and rockfaces.
To pass the time at appointments and hospital, I completed a few online art tutorials and then began experimenting artistically in my home studio. I loved that when I was engrossed in a painting, I wasn’t really thinking of much else.
Where did you first discover your love for creating?
I have always been a bit of a creator, and have tried many different crafts over the years. I tend to get an idea in my head and run hard with it - something that has kept my family and friends amused over the years. I would encourage everyone to try and find a creative outlet - the mindfulness benefits are so rewarding.
What does a day in the life of Bec Talbot look like?
I get up in the morning and do the morning school routine with the kids. After school drop off I love a walk along the beach from Miami to Burleigh or Burleigh to Tallebudgera. We really are so spoilt living here on the coast, there is no place like it.
I then head home for some painting in the studio - I tend to get engrossed in a piece and whilst I have tried to work on a few pieces at a time I seem to like to finish one before starting another. I spend my day chasing the sun in an effort to dry off layers and continue painting.
Then I do school pick up and kids activities, followed by the normal night time Mum routine. I generally try not to paint once the kids are home, but sometimes the desire is too strong and after dinner my 8 year old will come and paint alongside me.
Your artwork is usually a mix of different mediums - can you tell us about what your ‘go-to’ materials and tools are and how these have developed throughout your career?
I have always had an interest in interior design and home renovation and am really enjoying seeing organic textural elements in home styling. I wanted to keep this in mind when I started painting.
I originally started using textured medium with a palette knife in neutral colours. I have expanded on this by using colours in earthy and muted tones, and adding texture through mediums such as impasto, sand, charcoal, coffee and oil stick.
We have just received a range of incredible pieces from you. Could you tell us a bit about the inspiration behind the pieces, and how it’s been expressed?
Thank you. ‘Rockpool’, ‘Tamborine Dream’, 'Earthen Tapestry' and ‘Sand Dune’ are all inspired by local Gold Coast gems. When you really stop and look at the nature around you, you see intricate details that are often overlooked. ‘Phosphorescence’ is actually inspired by a book that was given to me by a friend. It was written by Julia Baird and is all about nurturing yourself and finding true happiness within.
If you had to describe your art style in 3 words, what would they be?
Textured, organic and earthy.
And if you had to pick a favourite piece you have created, which one would you choose and why?
I am in love with ‘Sand Dune’. It is my favourite colour palette so far, and I love the little hints of copper in the oil stick markings. This one was tempting to keep.
What are you currently watching, reading and/or listening to?
I am a little late to the party and am catching up on the Beckham documentary. If you had asked me a couple of weeks ago I would have said The Block - it's my fave show. I love listening to anything acoustic at the moment, calming and soothing is my go to. You will find me reading anything about holiday destinations - I am always busy planning the next one, time with the family creating memories is important to me.