Doel enjoys painting local buildings and reimagines well-known locations with a colourful, pop-art-inspired twist. Her painting of Nelson’s Civic House, a work inspired by a challenge from her husband to portray the oft criticised building in a creative way, is testament to her ability to shed new light on her architectural subject matter.
“I like challenging myself with buildings that are not usually considered aesthetically pleasing and try to make them so on canvas,” she explains.
Doel, who has been painting for about five years, has always had an interest in art, but struggled in the past to make the time for her art.
“My dad died a couple of years ago in an accident. It was so sudden and unexpected that it made me think about my life. I realised that life is short and I’d hate to think that I didn’t do something I’m interested in and passionate about just because I was always busy doing mundane things.”
Balancing painting with other work and a family, Doel relies on setting aside time in the evenings to complete her works and has been preparing for this exhibition for over a year, with larger works taking upwards of 60 hours of painting time.
The exhibition, which explores a range of other subjects alongside her large architectural works, has been well received, with people commenting on the variety and boldness in the work.
“I would predominantly say I’m inspired by pop art and I’m still trying to find my style. I’ve settled in comfortably here, but I think there’s more to test out. I’ve got all these ideas buzzing around in my head, but because the way that I work is very slow and methodical it’s a matter of finding the time to do it all.”
As this exhibition comes to a close, Doel is now looking ahead to Art Expo Nelson, which she describes as a real highlight.
“Every year I go [to the Expo] and look at all the artwork and I’m always amazed by it. I’ve never had enough work to show, and I felt like it was a distant dream. But, part of doing this exhibition was gearing up mentally to apply for that.”
Being a self-taught artist is no problem for Doel, who finds Nelson to be a great community in which to work.
“There’s heaps of artistic people here’s and everyone’s willing to share. It’s really helpful. There are a lot of markets and just so many options to get yourself out there.”
Looking ahead, Doel has no shortage of inspiration for future work.
“I’m still trying different things. I feel like there’s a lot more to explore in the floral works, and I have an idea for a feminist series that has been bubbling away in the background. And, of course there’s always great buildings to paint.
“A lot of the different things that I’m trying is purely me saying “I wonder if I can do that”.
To see more of Doel’s work, you can follow her on Instagram where she regularly shares her creative process.
‘Visual Sensation’ runs until Saturday, April 14th at Art@203 in Nelson.
Images courtesy of