Conversations + Colour: Melbourne-based artist, Madeleine Stamer
She is pure joy and radiates goodness. Melbourne-based artist, Madeleine Stamer is hope and optimism personified - and an insanely talented artist. Plus she's one of the kindest people you'll ever meet. With an illustrious career spanning a number of disciplines - ceramics, art, art educator, creative collaborator - she's prolific as she is inspired.
Colourful, playful and fun - the inimitable mum of two, is a joy to know in real life as she is to follow on Instagram. Effortlessly cool - this week we chat with Maddi about what's happening in her life.
Madeleine Stamer. What should we know about you? Hello, I’m Madeleine or some people prefer to call me Maddi, Mads, Mad, Madge!
I’m a Melbourne artist, I’m left-handed, big hair often plaited and a day dreamer.
I studied ceramics at uni but I was always drawn to surface decoration and texture which eventually lead me to pursue painting and illustration. I’m also an art teacher specialising in Early Years art but I’m currently having a break from teaching to focus on my art. I have a lovely partner, Karl and two gorgeous teens who keep me on my toes. I work from my home studio with my two cats and dog who keep me entertained. Colour, texture and pattern are my jam.
You’re an artist and an art teacher, - how did your career start? From the get-go I knew that I’d pursue a career in art. Encouragement from my family, friends of the family, teachers and friends was always a great boost. I’ve always followed my heart and After graduating from my architectural ceramics course I set up studio and worked part time to help pay the bills. I went back to do my Master of Fine Arts whilst working as an art technician at a local secondary school. I was in awe of the head of art and really admired her teaching style. I loved how she adored the students and in turn they adored her. With her encouragement I enrolled in a Bachelor of Teaching (primary and secondary). For the last 20 or so years I’ve taught art to kinder children up to VCE whilst juggling my own studio practice. Teaching is incredibly rewarding and I believe that it has highly influenced the way I approach my art as well as how I organise and manage my studio practice.
What did you want to be when you grew up? Artist or florist. Never did I consider or even think I’d be capable of becoming a teacher!
Never say never.
In 5 words describe your style: Contemporary folk with a twist.
Does your home style differ from your fashion style? I think there’s a touch of the ‘same same’ going on there.
What’s one thing in your wardrobe you wish you got to wear more often? My vintage gold sequined wedding top.
Your work is inherently optimistic. Powerfully uplifting and bright - are there any paint colours that never get used? No colour is off limits!
What inspires you? The extraordinary in the ordinary.
Do you have a ritual when you paint? I’m a very practical person… I freshen up my brush water. Put my phone on silent.
I sync up my phone to my Bluetooth speaker and crank up the tunes. I’m not a podcast type person. Admittedly I’ve never, ever listened to a podcast.
Where do you start with a painting? Do you already know what you’re going to paint before you even crack open the paints? I generally have a loose idea of what I’m going to paint. There’s always a vague plan tucked away inside my head trying to bust out. My concepts tend to emerge in the middle of the night or during a moment of clarity whilst showering. I don’t often create preliminary sketches, I guess my art making process takes a more intuitive path. I prefer to throw myself in the deep end with a sprinkling of procrastination. Mistakes on the canvas often dictate a whole new direction so I try my darndest to roll with the punches and make some good out of it.
What’s your favourite time of the day? I’m a night owl but any quiet moment is my favourite time of the day.
Favourite thing to do on the weekend? I love travelling to our home away from home in Phillip Island, being with family and friends and walking Pippi our border terrier. If it involves eating food, a nature walk and some bird spotting then I’m a happy lady.
Cat or dog: I knew this was a trick question! ALL the animals!!!
What’s been a light at the end of the past two years tunnel? Escaping to my studio to create art, online catchups with my prep and kinder students (hectic and hilarious rolled into one), zooms with friends and family and of course uber eats.
I was able to travel to Sydney for a long weekend between lockdowns with my darling ‘las chicas’ girlfriends which was the tonic that I needed.
Who do you love following on Instagram? My daily go-tos are @little_tienda , @say_hola , @greenhouseinteriors , @thedesignfiles , @modernister , all the animal accounts and a dose of silly ratbag accounts.
Favourite Little Tienda piece? So many favourites but I’ll always have a soft spot for my Magdalena jumpsuit.
What are you looking forward to? I’m working towards an exhibition with my girl Maria Flores at Compendium Gallery in July. It’s exciting and a little daunting but something that I’m very much looking forward to.