Artist in profile: Rita Masarin
On a chilly winter’s morning during the recent cold snap here on the Gold Coast, I met up with local artist Rita Masarin to chat about her upcoming exhibition.
We agreed to meet at the iconic Elephant Rock Café at Currumbin, and we were grateful to find a sunny corner upstairs, sheltered from the icy breeze. We used our warm cups of tea and coffee to defrost our hands as we chatted. The conversation flowed with ease, due to our shared interests in creativity and making the most of life.
It’s an exciting time for Rita, with her new art exhibition set to open on the 1st of August.
So, who is Rita Masarin, and how did she come to have her own exhibition? Pretty impressive, eh?
Rita is a wife, mother to three grown children, a former Indonesian restaurant proprietor, a passionate surfer and an accomplished artist. She’s also living proof that you can learn something new at any time in your life.
She started drawing and painting in acrylics around 2001. At that time, she was painting a LOT of frangipanis – and they sold like hot cakes. As a consequence, she says she never wants to paint another frangipani – it’s time to move on!
Self-taught until 4 years ago, Rita decided to step things up and enrolled to study Graphic Design at TAFE, then continued her studies in Contemporary Visual Art.
Renowned contemporary landscape painter and teacher, Hobie Porter, guided Rita on her artful journey, first as her teacher at TAFE, then as her tutor at Artable – an art school in Kingscliff. Under Hobie’s guidance, she learned to use oils, mix colours and improve her painting. Rita says she really benefited from the weekly workshops at Artable, which allowed her to maintain momentum and gave her the determination to complete works.
“You learn by doing,” she says, “You just have to do it!” Wise words.
Rita now combines her passion for surfing and the ocean with her stunning artworks. While she also paints figures and portraits, she prefers the ocean – it’s her major subject.
Her love of surfing started when she was given a voucher for surf lessons for her 40th birthday. Before she could start surfing, she had to learn to swim! It took two years, a great deal of frustration and tons of tenacity for Rita to be confident enough in her swimming to learn to surf.… but she did both and surfing quickly became her passion. In fact, she loved surfing so much, she convinced her husband to move house from inland Carrara to beachside Tugun, so that she would be closer to the beach and able to surf every day.
Eventually, Rita took her paintings to show the owner of Café Dbar Gallery, Donna Archdeacon, who was impressed enough to take several small pieces, which sold quickly. She was later invited to do an exhibition at the gallery.
Her influences include prominent artists such as Chris Langlouis, Wolfgang Bloch, Philip Wolfhagen and Gerhard Richter. She draws inspiration from their interpretation of the ocean, clouds and sky.
Rita loves her life. Each morning, she surfs with friends at some of the best breaks in the world, here on the Southern Gold Coast, before starting to paint in her home studio at 10am. She often paints throughout the day and into the night – while her husband tries to sleep in the bedroom adjacent to her studio! She also listens to audio books while she paints.
It can sometimes be difficult to work from home, with all the usual distractions. Rita says entering competitions provides a deadline and worthy goal for her. Also having an exhibition to work towards helps.
She eats well and believes that keeping her mind and body in tune helps her to concentrate. She goes to the gym, surfs with friends and generally enjoys life.
Rita is set to launch her 8th solo art exhibition titled, “Dark Side of Light” at Café Dbar Gallery, 275 Boundary Street, Coolangatta on the 1st of August, and it will run until 31st August. Call in and check it out.
Rita Masarin is a prime example of what Seize The Day Project is all about – tapping into your creativity, pushing yourself a little to do what you love, and truly enjoying life.
Have you learnt something new lately? Tell us about it by leaving a comment below. Don’t be shy. Grazie! 🙂
Lyndall Guinery-Smith is a freelance writer based on the Southern Gold Coast. She blogs about travel, adventure, creativity, fun and life’s passions at www.SeizeTheDayProject.com.
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