Cherie Strong lives Boonah, a small country town, population 2500. She works from a studio on her rural property, juggling art around her hectic duties as a mum to five boys, aged 16 to eight years.
But that hasn’t stopped the prolific painter and street artist from achieving phenomenal sales around the world.
She’s just left for an exhibition in London’s Portobello Road, where her reputation precedes her.
Cherie thanks Facebook for her new-found international popularity. She says social media has enabled her to find new customers, irrespective of where she is based or what galleries she is exhibiting in.
“I was signed to a local gallery for four years and last year I decided to leave and do it on my own,” says Cherie.
“In the past 12 months my profile has gone global. I sell my art overseas all the time. I would send to America every week and in the UK they’re telling me I’m quite popular over there.”
Cherie says her life raising a house of boys has influenced her artwork. Her favourite – and most popular series – feature China Dolls and Geisha Girls. She also does a great edgy Alice in Wonderland series and a ‘drippy’ series, which features dripping paintwork.
Meet Cherie and watch her work during Open Studios of the Scenic Rim, which is being held across five weekends, starting on May 3. The celebration of art and culture involves 86 artists working in 24 studios around the Scenic Rim.
The Open Studios festival offers visitors a rare glimpse into the creative process. Cherie says she’s looking forward to working in such a public place and an environment far removed from her solitary studio.
Cherie started painting in her late teens and studied art in Perth straight out of school. But soon after graduating she met her husband and started breeding boys. During those early years her art took a back seat but about nine years ago she decided to focus on it again.
“I was about 30 and knew I was missing something,” says Cherie.
“I bought some paint and canvases and started painting. It just went from there. I didn’t even realise I missed it until I started painting again. I’m going to London for a show on Portobello Rd and when I get back I have a solo exhibition in Melbourne. People are coming to me now thanks to Facebook and social media. (more…)