• WORDS Claire Bradshaw

Belinda Doyle - Ocean-Inspired, Contemporary Works of Art

Living in Newcastle, it can sometimes be easy to take the beauty of the ocean for granted. After all, it’s right on all of our doorsteps. Whether you’re strolling along the break wall, taking a dip in Merewether Baths, surfing at Pogo’s or wandering over the Anzac Walk, the water is a powerful, steady and familiar presence in the lives of many Novocastrians. But artists like Belinda Doyle remind us, through their work, of how beautiful and breathtaking Australia’s seascapes really are.

Born and raised on the NSW South Coast, Belinda’s fascination with the ocean should come as no surprise. “Growing up, if we weren’t water skiing we were at the beach, either swimming, fishing or worming, and it was a huge part of my childhood,” Belinda says. “Even now, my favourite thing to do is sit on the beach with my camera or drone and watch the waves.”

While the ocean and photography have always been her happy place, creativity has always been her way of life. Excelling in art, technical drawing and photography subjects at school, Belinda’s skills and talents shaped the direction of her future from a young age. Her career path has included several creative branches, including directing a children’s interiors business specialising in wall murals, studying interior design, and working with builders on new homes. But in 2015, Belinda decided that she needed a creative challenge. “I tried resin [art], and it was love at first sight,” she explains. “A year later, it was my full-time income, and has been ever since.”

Since 2016, Belinda has dedicated herself to the creation of unique artworks through Belinda Doyle Art & Design. Beginning by selling her wares at local markets, she built her brand and expanded her offerings, opening her first pop-up store ‘The Collective’ in Kiama in 2017, with her second following in Gerringong and a third on the way. Nowadays, the works created in her Gerringong studio include resin art and homewares, both ocean-inspired and contemporary; fine art prints reproduced from original ink paintings; photographic art prints; and even ‘wearable art’ in the form of soft inked scarves.

Belinda’s resin artworks are all one-of-a-kind. Combining her love of two materials, resin and timber, these works aim to recreate the look and feel of aerial photography, and have become a signature style for Belinda. The high-gloss, reflective surface of the resin lends itself particularly to aerial beachscapes, creating an almost three-dimensional effect, while the sandy grain of the birch completes the seaside feel.

Her homewares are just as popular, with a range of natural and coastal colours incorporated into unique resin-edged serving boards and bowls. “I love that every single time I work on a new piece, the resin reacts differently and I am constantly challenged by how it will behave,” Belinda says. “Every single artwork, serving board and bowl is unique, and even I could not replicate it if I tried!”

The coastal theme continues in Belinda’s photography, with the ever-changing nature of the ocean captured in moments snapped at a variety of locations along the East Coast. Her fine art prints and scarves, on the other hand, move into more abstract styles. They’re an evocative mix of swirling colour and pattern, some calling to mind the underwater worlds of coral reefs.

So what keeps Belinda inspired and creative? Her answer is simple: “I just love creating art. Many parts of my business feel like work, but when I walk into my studio each day and start creating, it doesn’t feel like work at all.”

View Belinda’s work online at www.belindadoyle.com.au or catch her at our very own Olive Tree Markets!

**JULY OLIVE TREE MARKET** The Olive Tree Market in July is a little bit special – with the market being held on the second Saturday in July (July 13th) – rather than the usual first. Put it in your diary and don’t miss out on The Olive Tree Market on July 13th at Civic Park.

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