Sunshine Coast Art Gallery: Inspired by the Sunshine Coast

sunshine coast art gallery - Coolum Beach by Art-By-Simone

In relation to my Sunshine Coast art gallery, I had a conversation this week…what is the difference between a traveller and a tourist? The opinion was that a tourist just passes through, while a traveller stays and explores! So, with that in mind, and the opportunity to stay for awhile, I’m looking forward to sharing with you my local travel experiences with an artistic perspective on Coolum Beach and the surrounding Sunshine Coast area.

My Husband loves food.  Cooking or eating, he is an expert. When he arrives as a traveller in a new place he seeks out the hidden gems of food. On the Sunshine Coast that has included delicious home grown bananas from a self-serve, honour payment stand near Mooloolah, the Mango Man every Sunday on David Low Way and our favourite seafood van ‘Meat without Feet’ every Thursday at the Coolum RSL. He has found craft breweries, farmers markets and some great restaurants. That’s what inspires him.

When I arrive in a new place as a traveller I am drawn to the art. On the Sunshine Coast, it’s not a Guggenheim, Tate or Broad gallery that inspires – they are not here. But what is here is the rugged beauty of nature. The coast and it’s ever changing mood.  Sparkling sun-dappled waters one day and grey thunderheads the next. The abundant bushland provides every shade of green from the almost fluorescent hues of new grass by the roadside to the deep emerald of the old-growth forest. Among that palette of greens are pops of colour – a wildflower, brightly coloured fungi and the ever present birds. There are chattering rainbow lorikeets, pink and grey galahs, yellow-tailed black cockatoos with their prehistoric cries and the neat black and white suits of the butcher birds who make me smile every day with the finest songs I have ever heard.

I’ve taken all that inspiration and have started on a ‘Sunshine Coast Series‘ in my Sunshine Coast art gallery of travel-poster inspired digital artworks. They have a brighter colour palette than my ‘California Coastal Series’ because the light is different here, with less surf haze and a harsher sun when it’s out, casting sharper shadows.  The subjects have so far been local to Coolum Beach. The local foreshore reserve, amusingly named ‘Tickle Park,’ our local dog beach at Stumers Creek and the Main Beach. On the beach the colours are different. The water is usually ‘Caribbean Blue’ but recent rains created a brief bloom of algae and for a few days the water was green and cloudy. The sand here looks almost white but is a pale, pale yellow and seaweed, shells and driftwood are rare. Sometimes there will be a collection of pure white cuttlebones and it’s only then that you realise the contrast with the sand.  Then there is the human colours – bright surfboards, boogie boards and beach umbrellas. The red and yellow flags of the Surf Lifesaving Association tell you where it’s safe to swim and their bright yellow rescue boards are always propped up to be ready to grab in an emergency.

I pinch myself when I find myself as a traveller in paradise and I hope the colours and the inspiration of the local beauty, captured in the new series inspire you too.

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Alex Mileham