Connecting everyone to the world of story

Image Alt

Story Links

  /  News   /  StoryArt Exhibition 2024 Meet the Artist: Ingrid Bartkowiak

StoryArt Exhibition 2024 Meet the Artist: Ingrid Bartkowiak

The annual StoryArt Exhibition is all set to start  Monday, April 22 and run until Thursday April 25 at the Richard Randall Art Studio at Mt Coot-tha, Brisbane. It will be four fabulous days of art for everyone to enjoy.
This annual event showcases local artist-illustrators whose work includes creating beautiful books for children. The participants will have illustrations, models and other art for sale and on display.
Free admission, but please let us know you are coming to meet the artists at the Up Late on Wednesday 24 April, from 5:00 pm @Richard Randall Art Studio, Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens.
This year’s artists are:
Deb Taylor-Worley Charlie’s War (written by Vicki Bennett)
Ingrid Bartkowiak Naturopolis (written by Deborah Frenkel)
Sona Babajanyan Goodnight Possum (written by Coral Vass)
Sue Wright will have polymer clay sculptures of mythical and fictional creatures
There will also be a display honouring ANZAC family stories (Jacqui Halpin, Australia Remembers)

Ingrid Bartkowiak

Based in Brisbane/Meanjin, Ingrid Bartkowiak is an artist and illustrator who works primarily in watercolour. Her hand painted work features native Flora, Fauna and Fungi. Ingrid has a fascination with all things small and intricate, from tufts of moss on a footpath to the fungi sprouting from a wombat dropping. At a young age, she discovered painting as an intimate way of connecting with nature. Inspired by botanical illustration and the Arts & Crafts movement, Ingrid’s technique makes use of the watercolour medium through tiny patterns, exquisite detail, and vivid blocks of colour. Her book Naturopolis has been reviewed in StoryLinks.
Ingrid kindly agreed to be interviewed by StoryLinks
What were your favourite illustrations/illustrator as a child? Why/how  did you respond to them? Did they  inspire you? I loved Beatrix Potter and Jeannie Baker as a child. There was an animated series of Beatrix Potter’s stories that I watched as a child. The opening scene showed her painting in watercolours and I remember thinking ‘I want to be able to paint like that!’. Jeannie Baker’s work mesmerized me – I loved her attention to detail and how she depicted nature in her books. You could spend hours looking at her collages.
Is/are there artist/s working today that you admire? Why?Is there someone you look up to now? I love the work of Holly Exley (a watercolour illustrator). She has a wonderful illustration practice in both her personal work and commercial work. I also found early on that her advice around the illustration industry was quite helpful. Monica Rohan (a QLD based oil painter). Monica’s work is so detailed and delicate. I remember the first time I saw her paintings I was so surprised to find they were done with oil paints, as they have a much lighter feel to them then what you’d usually associate with oils.
What is your preferred medium to work in? Why? Do you have more than one preferred medium? Watercolour. I love the way watercolour layers and builds. The depth and detail you can achieve with this medium is so satisfying. I also often incorporate a bit of white gouache into my paintings as I enjoy the way it changes the watercolour medium to make more ‘milky’ and flat colours.
Where and when and how do you work? Could you describe the process from commission to finished product – we would like to know what goes on in your head.I am very lucky to have a little home studio where I work from. When working on commissions, I will often start the process on the iPad as it’s a lot easier to make changes to your sketch work if you have client feedback. I research the subject (I often like to go to the library and read up on the species I will be painting), find or take reference images, come up with very rough thumbnail sketches/concepts, then start the sketch process. While I do use reference images for the flora, fauna and fungi I am painting (to make sure they are somewhat accurate!), the ‘scenes’ or compositions in my paintings are usually completely made up. Once the sketches are approved, I’ll move onto paper and this is when the fun part starts. I often lay down the base layers first, then gradually add more detail and depth with the watercolour. Finally, once the painting is complete I will scan in the artwork and then edit the image to make sure there are no dust marks and that the colours match the original artwork.
Can you tell us something about the pieces that you are going to exhibit at the Richard Randall Art Studio? Why did you choose these? Are any significant in any way?
The ‘Fennel’ and ‘Moss’ artworks are from Naturopolis. These were two of my favourite pages to paint as I was able to get fully lost in the detail.
The ‘Snow Skink’ painting has a lovely story behind it. It was part of a series I was looking at based around pollination stories. This particular relationship is quite fascinating. The honeybush flowers depicted in this painting are an alpine species, so they keep themselves quite well protected to survive the elements with fused petals. The downside of this is that it makes it quite hard for insects to pollinate this species. The snow skink acts as a ‘pollinator facilitator’ by ripping off the top of the honeybush flowers to eat the nectar inside, and as a result, exposes the plants reproductive structures. This makes pollination much more possible for the honey bush!
The ‘Regent Honeyeater’ painting looks at this beautiful but endangered species of bird – it was also a part of the pollination series. The background features Ironbark flowers, which Regent Honeyeaters are believed to be important pollinators of. This in turn also benefits many other animals that rely on eucalyptus trees for food and habitat.
How would you describe your art style? Is this something that happened or that you worked for?  As a child, my parents were into the work of William Morris which I also really loved and I feel has had an ongoing impact on my art. When studying at uni, we were encouraged to look at many different artists and art movements. I think this definitely affected how my art style developed, and also of course painting what you notice or are passionate about is going to affect the direction you take. I don’t think I was ever trying to create a certain look, I think you just absorb and are affected by the world around you, and this then comes out in creative expression.
When did you realise that you wanted to be an artist? Another way of asking this question is what was your first paid job as an artist? After leaving high school, I actually enrolled in midwifery for a few weeks. I realised very quickly that this was a huge mistake (that I would not make a good midwife!) and so enrolled in fine art instead. After graduating I had to work out what direction to take, and I had always been interested in illustration, so this is what I decided to pursue!
Where would you like to be in ten years’ time – artistically speaking? In a nice garden!

Thank you Ingrid for taking the time to answer our questions

Come and meet Ingrid at the StoryArt Exhibition Up Late

Wednesday April 24, 5 pm – 8 pm at the Richard Randall Art Studio

It’s free but you need to book here

1942 Amsterdam Ave NY (212) 862-3680

Error: Contact form not found.

Free shipping
for orders over 50%