Meet Our Staff: Interview with Chloé Newby

Aug 29, 2021

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Our latest episode of PAINT, the Podcast, ‘Fives Minutes is All You Need’, features Eddy Tait in conversation with Cork & Chroma’s Head of Brand and Projects, Melbourne artist, and new mum, Chloé Newby. In this episode, Chloé explains how she found ways to carve out time to create amidst the chaos of motherhood, work, and life to produce her newest body of work, ‘Midnight Magnolias’.


Chloé Newby with her 'Midnight Magnolias' painting collection

Photo credit: AMPR Group


A mover and shaker by nature, Chloé Newby knows what it’s like to spin several plates at once. But as she says, “Motherhood really just changes everything.” With a newborn strapped to her, Chloé wondered if the painting plate might have to stop spinning for a while. “I did nothing for a little while,” she said. “I didn’t know how I could get back into painting, or what my creative expression would look like.”

Chloé shared these thoughts with a friend, who suggested that she simply put something on the easel. To just put a canvas up, make a mark on it whenever she could, and see what happened. “I took that advice on and made it work for me,” Chloé said. “You know, reduced my expectations of what I was hoping to create and just used it as a form of moving meditation, or time for myself.”


Making marks with a palette knife


Speaking with Eddy, Chloé compares her new painting approach to a Cork & Chroma session. Where at Cork & Chroma you have the instant gratification of completing a painting in three hours, that kind of time was no longer afforded to her. She had to learn to be patient with her craft and paint in bite-sized installments: five minutes here, ten minutes there.

And five minutes at a time, her Midnight Magnolias came together. “I’m really proud,” Chloe said. “It’s definitely my best work yet, and it’s been fun to push my boundaries in a way that I never would have foreseen I could.”


Midnight Magnolias Collection in Chloé Newby's home studio


For Chloé, allowing her paintings to be sessionable began at the colour palette phase. Since her debut abstract collection ‘State of Mind’ in 2019, Chloé has created several bodies of work, each influenced by a different theme, colour palette, or season in her life. Her latest collection ‘Midnight Magnolias’ channels the beauty of a deep dark Winter, with a palette inspired by the 2020 Autumn/Winter fashion weeks of London and New York.

Before she began painting Chloé sourced and premixed all the colours she would need, preparing them in little plastic tubs so that they were right ready to go for when she next had five to spare. Chloé also designated an area where she could place her used painting tools at the end of a session, so she had no excuse to leave them soaking and could quickly rinse them out. Even so, she admits losing a few favourite brushes to the cause.


Pre-mixed paint pots in plastic containers


‘Midnight Magnolias’ was showcased for several weeks with PR agency AMPR Group in their Melbourne showroom, and individual works can now be purchased and viewed in more detail on Chloé’s website, chloenewby.com. Musings, inspiration, and behind the scenes shots can be found on her Instagram account, @bychloenewby.

Looking forward, Chloé Newby plans to keep a canvas on her easel and spend a few minutes on it whenever she can. She says it’s all about “keeping something on the side, always, and just getting to it when you can without the expectation and the pressure of having to be a painter that is producing all the time.” She is currently chipping away on a new Spring-inspired collection.


Melbourne artist, Chloé Newby, with her 'Midnight Magnolias' painting collection.

Photo credit: AMPR Group


More on creativity and motherhood

Hillary Wall on How Motherhood Changed My Creative Process
We acknowledge the matriarchs with A Thank You to Mums

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