Painting for peace of mind

Art began as a therapy technique for Trent Quinlan and has since evolved into a lifelong passion and career path. As a sufferer of Bipolar, a complex mood disorder, Trent sought reprieve from his condition through painting. As he practised more and more, he discovered a true artistic talent and an enjoyment that prompted him to explore his gift further.

The 34-year-old Brisbane-born artist discovered Art from the Margins (a program for isolated or disadvantaged artists, facilitated by Wesley Mission Brisbane) after being encouraged by friends to enter some art competitions. After meeting with AFTM, they decided to exhibit one of his paintings at the 2011 Brisbane Festival. “I would like to get more involved with Art from the Margins, they are a great bunch of people and offer great support for artists,” says Trent.

Trent’s paintings are generally oil on canvas, although he has experimented with several different mediums including sculpture and murals. The artist describes his work as abstract, psychedelic, emotional and spontaneous. “I generally draw a picture first and go from there. I have a picture in my mind and I use the colours to express my feelings. [My goal is] for people to feel something – you may not see a picture straight away, but I hope the emotional impact is immediate,” says Trent. “I want people to enjoy it, to enjoy the colour burst,” he continues.

Trent finds the most therapeutic part of his work is the continual learning process. “It takes about five days to complete one of my paintings so it keeps me busy and is also an outlet to express my feelings. My art is continually evolving – when I began, it felt more like the colours were choosing me – I would just pick colours at random. As I grow as an artist I find that these days I am more decisive about what colours I want to use and am more able to express myself.”

Check out more of Trent’s work at his website


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