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Renee Mitchell. Scratch Series. Pen and Acrylic on a1 paper. Dahlias and Honeyeasters.jpg

Renee Mitchell

Pen & Arcrylic Paint

Self-taught artist, Renee Mitchell's finely-honed line work references a detailed knowledge of the animal world. Her connection with the essence of the creatures she so intimately portrays (fur babies and spirit animals) is palpable and indeed the creatures appear paused to move: onto the dance floor, off the page.


A passion for pens and love of freedom and movement can be seen in Mitchell’s largest body of works. In her Scratch Series, animals and sea creatures alike show fine detail and loose line working together in harmony to bring animals to life. A portion of these works combine pen with acrylic paint offering a mixed media contemporary take on the traditional portrait.


Mitchell has competed and won first place in two out of three WetPaint competitions, where she competed against local and international artists, live in front of an audience. For these works on canvas, Mitchell wished to maintain her expressive freedom she creates with her pens, however as the materials (canvas) did not allow for this, another way needed to be found. An idea was born and tested once, days prior to the first competition. Strings of wool, soaked in paint, pulled taught on each end were drawn over the canvas like a danced created from her own movement, until the subject came to life. The first work painted in this method, won first place in WetPaint.


Images of humans with animal heads have been depicted in many cultures throughout the ages. In her quirky and endearing Twisted Series, Mitchell portrays a hybrid of contemporary, often savvy human bodies with animal heads. The artist shows an uncanny awareness of human nature however the combinations are not idle ones. Thought provoking, they invite the viewer to explore the subject. A laid-back, outdoorsy figure - cargo shorts, rolled up sleeves, sweater tied casually around the waist – is paired with the head of a koala, a brilliant depiction of our laid-back Australian lifestyle. Someone you might see having coffee or sauntering along the street. The figure in a business suit worn with overt attitude and the head of an owl, a perennial symbol of wisdom. But is this owl really wise or are we deceived by our conditioned beliefs?


A love affair with pens resulted in the appointment of Mitchell by Artline in 2014-2016 as their Artline Pen Ambassador and her custom works. Her works are regularly exhibited in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland and are held by many private collectors.


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