Growing up in Geelong gave Anita Barrett excellent access to Victoria’s Surf Coast, Bellarine region and parklands, where she naturally developed an innate love of the natural world.

Throughout her life, Anita has always lived with anxiety. She finds immersion in nature cultivates emotional wealth and often seeks the natural environment regularly, making her feel alive, grateful and guaranteed to get her creative juices flowing.

Anita has a passion for sketching and documenting her experiences, trying to capture the moment’s calmness and showing her appreciation for natural shapes and lines. Her sketchbooks have become a personal record and visual journey of creative calm and are an integral part of her art practice.

At her home studio in East Geelong, where she lives with her husband, Steve, and two adopted retired greyhounds, Audrey and Billy. She uses her sketchbooks and photographs as references to create artwork, typically highlighting calm, peaceful scenes set mainly within a coastal landscape, sometimes including birds.

Anita’s artwork can be described as impressionism with an abstract format and is known for painting within a circular shape, so they command attention but with a soft edge.

Working with acrylic paint, charcoal, graphite and Indian Ink on canvas or wood, she starts by sketching the image. Then builds the picture in layers with colour, scratching and rubbing back in areas to reveal underlying colours and leaving graphite marks to feature, showing the original drawing and charcoal marks for texture.

Anita has always loved to draw since she was young and, in 2005, decided to study art at Latrobe Fine Art School in Geelong casually for a year and has been refining her painting techniques.

Along the way, she has painted commissions, sold works in art shows throughout Victoria, received a highly recommended award, sold pieces through retail outlets and cafes in Geelong and Melbourne, and had her artwork in six galleries.

Deciding to take her artwork to the next level in 2015 has been a transformative journey, and since then, she has held five solo shows and has been part of five group shows sold works throughout Australia and overseas.

Anita wants to highlight that a visual connection with nature, even through artwork depicting nature scenes, reduces stress and improves mental health.