Anita's emerging art career takes shape

Anita's emerging art career takes shape

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Wagin artist Anita Longmuir has been a successful Woolorama exhibitor for five years and credits the event in helping her to develop art as a career.

Wagin artist Anita Longmuir has been a successful Woolorama exhibitor for five years and credits the event in helping her to develop art as a career.

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She has always been creative, however, it was not until Anita Longmuir was a mum with four children that she discovered her talent for art.

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SHE has always been creative, however, it was not until Anita Longmuir was a mum with four children that she discovered her talent for art.

Her parents may have suspected the tiny child scribbling underneath the chair may be art-inclined but it took the Make Smoking History Wagin Woolorama to give her the drive and confidence to develop a serious passion for her preferred pen and pencil medium.

Since high school, art had not figured greatly in Ms Longmuir's life until a drawing of an owl on a vintage envelope in 2015 won the local artist award and the show's most outstanding work.

In the following years she was runner-up once and won the other media class twice and has sold many of her paintings at every show.

Often Ms Longmuir's work features animals and birds, partly because she was attracted to the beauty of their feathers and intricate nests and it is something her children love as well.

Ms Longmuir's emerging painting career took a new direction when inspirational friend and local photographer Melanie English, Lime Lake Photography, teamed up with her for a joint exhibition in 2015 at the local Community Resource Centre.

She was both surprised and overwhelmed by everyone's positive response to a series of pen and pencil and chalk pastels on vintage paper and sold all but two of her original works and more than 50 reproduction prints of the works featured.

Ms Longmuir's realism took her towards commission artwork with owners wanting an exact likeness of their beloved pets.

In 2018 she immersed herself in the creative process and won the Kondinin Art Prize for a work in any other medium (pen and pencil on wood) titled A Mother's Journey and received a heart-rending critique from the judge.

"I was fortunate enough to win and what he had to say about it had me in tears," Ms Longmuir said.

"The overwhelming feeling of someone describing your very heart and soul is really quite humbling.

"He just got it, which for an artist, is everything."

Ms Longmuir has a busy year ahead with the consistent flow of commissions and now she is producing three works for Woolorama, to be held on March 6-7.

She will also begin working on another exhibition called The Womanhood Series with Ms English, planned later next year in Wagin.

With her youngest child off to kindergarten this year Ms Longmuir aims to treat her art like a job, working longer hours, setting up a website and engaging more on social media.

Maybe only then will she permanently dispel the lack of self-confidence she feels.

"It doesn't matter how many hours you have spent drawing, self-doubt still creeps in - creativity is such a head game," Ms Longmuir said.

For instance there are a stock of canvases calling her name but she needs to conquer an underlying fear to experiment more with oils and acrylics.

To kick start the Womanhood series Ms Longmuir and Ms English explored what Womanhood meant to women via an online survey asking 10 questions.

Within 24 hours they had 150 anonymous responses - some more candid than she ever expected, raising emotional topics such as child abuse they had experienced as children themselves and mother's guilt.

It is these responses that Ms Longmuir will interpret for the exhibition.

Although she has no formal art training - she once considered becoming an art teacher - she is set to make a difference in the art world in a different way.

"A few parents floated an idea of doing a children's art workshop and I will hold something this year," Ms Longmuir said.

For more information Ms Longmuir can be found on Facebook and Instagram.

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