Artist Stephanie Boyle explores Wheatbelt South with brush and ironing board during residency in Narrogin

Daniel RooneyNarrogin Observer
Artist Stephanie Boyle has enjoyed her time in Narrogin.
Camera IconArtist Stephanie Boyle has enjoyed her time in Narrogin. Credit: Daniel Rooney

Perth-based artist Stephanie Boyle has spent a busy week in the Wheatbelt South capturing the natural beauty of the landscape with the brush.

Boyle is the second creative to take up residence at the Narrogin and Dryandra Visitor Centre artist quarters and her connection to the region and the bush brings vitality to her watercolour paintings.

“I was born in Narrogin Hospital but lived on a farm at Dudinin,” she said.

Stephanie Boyle welcomes a guest into the residency studio.
Camera IconStephanie Boyle welcomes a guest into the residency studio. Credit: Daniel Rooney

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“There’s nothing there hardly now, and I went to school at Kulin so I do know the area.”

Her mainstays are acrylics and watercolours and Boyle likes to explore outdoors and indoors.

“I do love doing landscapes because I was brought up surrounded by the land,” she said.

“I do like doing that, but I seem to have gone a bit more abstract . . . you should see my studio, it’s got everything.”

While in Narrogin, Boyle has focused on plein-air painting, travelling to places such as Foxes Lair and Yilliminning Rock Reserve.

Working away from the studio can be challenging but Boyle has adapted.

“You’ve got to have the right equipment,” she said.

Boyle's plein-air set up.
Camera IconBoyle's plein-air set up. Credit: Daniel Rooney;Stephanie Boyle

“I paint from an ironing board now because I’ve found that it’s really good with watercolours.”

The lightweight board found at an op shop is easy to transport and adjust and the artist takes a minimal approach to working outdoors.

“You’ve got to take as least as possible,” she said.

“That takes a lot of discipline because we like to take everything.”

Composition and light are two elements that attract Boyle to a location and the simplicity of her set-up keeps the creativity flowing.

“You can’t spend too much time scouting around because you waste your time; you’ve just to make the decision ‘I’m going to paint here’ and start painting,” she said.

The simple approach to mode extends to medium.

“Watercolours is best if you don’t fiddle with it and don’t overwork it,” Boyle said.

A watercolour painted by Boyle at Foxes Lair.
Camera IconA watercolour painted by Boyle at Foxes Lair. Credit: Daniel Rooney;Stephanie Boyle

“It can lose that freshness if you spend too much time on them.”

Boyle has made every second count while in town.

“Around this area — Narrogin — there’s some really beautiful places,” she said.

“It’s lovely . . . I’ve been out every day and I haven’t touched the surface.”

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