Angharad Dean left an award winning career as a city planner to follow the apparently inevitable call of her genes [1].  She turned from working with people and landscape (taking a 4 dimensional view of the world) to capturing the immediacy of light, colour and movement in 2 dimensions: now she attempts to capture the 4th dimension in the medium of the 2nd.  Her initial training as a designer has enabled her to see the world through a painter’s eyes and apply the techniques of colour and form to her chosen medium of oils.
Angharad took up the paintbrush in 2005 and since then, fitting her painting around the needs of he son and daughter, she has completed over 400 works and exhibited on average twice a year.

She is (still, after 30 years) married to her webmaster and photographer.

Angharad’s paintings use precise strokes that juxtapose colours in a style she has developed from studying ever shifting light in nature, and immersing herself in the state of ‘‘Flow” [2].  Her father taught her, ‘never put a colour down that you do not think is beautiful’, and her painting tutor told her ‘always keep the whole canvas alive’.  She hopes her work is faithful to these directions.

Let them speak for themselves

It’s a personal narrative: the relationship between me and the things of beauty that surround me.  They speak to me and I listen and translate what I hear through my eyes into paint on a canvas.  I work with my whole body as it is with my whole body that I see, feel, absorb my trees, water, sky, so I like to work most on big canvases.  It’s like poetry in motion, the poetry of colour.

Sometimes I get an idea and it takes me somewhere that surprises and delights me.  This is the power of liquid medium – they flow and blend in ways that you can not predict until it is happening on the canvas – many times the painting takes me along with it until the end result is entirely it’s own creation.  These are the paintings that satisfy me the most because they are fresh, a unique response to the day, place, even the moisture in the air, the music I have been listening to or the sound of birds. 

I know the painting is finished when it hits me in the stomach – the heart, the soul, the chi – that special place that makes me feel alive.  This, I hope, is the effect that my paintings have on others too.


[1] Born Entrepreneurs, Born Leaders How your Genes Affect your Work Life by Scott Shane, Oxford University Press 2010 – in which it is explained that 75% of those in the creative arts were basically ‘born’ to it – Angharad’s father, Brian Dean, is an award winning artist and well known art educator in Queensland.  He strongly encouraged her to choose an alternative career to the arts but her genes overrode his advice, eventually.

[2] Mihaly Csíkszentmihályi, internationally renowned author and Professor of Psychology and author of many books, including Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention (1996) invented the term ‘flow’ and describes flow as "being completely involved in an activity for its own sake. The ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing jazz. Your whole being is involved, and you're using your skills to the utmost”.
Angharad Painting