Janine Daddo is a lucky person. She always wanted to be a painter. And in fulfilling her dreams, she has become a highly successful one - by sharing her happiness with others. Yet, luck is no matter of chance. You have to strive for serendipity. Her enthusiasm for life expressed in her joyous, colourful paintings emerges from one touched with tragedy. As always, the way we handle adversity defines our character, for those nightmares in life’s journey are times of unbelievable blackness. Yet, they seem to be necessary experiences that precede the pathway to perceptions of light and joy in the perception and expression of unbounded beauty. Daddo communicates this exuberance through her art, and is one of the reasons why it is so popular. Another is her gifts is this means of communication, schooled at RMIT in graphic art and design, developed through fashion illustration, and finely honed in the world of advertising in Sydney and Melbourne. Her paintings are conversational and attractively packaged in seductive colours. Numerous sell-out exhibitions provide their own testimony.
Artists are very fortunate people in being able to see anew the everyday world with a freshness and enthusiasm, which they share through the works they create. As in Daddo’s paintings, a kitchen scene becomes a chaos of delight, the diurnal becomes the extraordinary. Her imagery is familiar, friendly, and highly appealing, with an echo of Charles Blackman in whose house she once lived in Sydney. Influence came by osmosis, rather than directly, found in her love of colour, figuration, and certain lyrical touches, especially of flowers and lovers, as in A Little Romance. Her Secret Garden series probably owe part of their genesis to the same neighbour’s garden which Blackman looked onto from his studio window. This secret place for Daddo is one of freedom, completely relaxed and open. In large Secret Garden 2007, the richness of the reds create the mood and capture the passion, in harmony with the embrace and intertwining of the figures, repeated in the sinuous lines of the flower forms of the background.
The richness of her colours comes from her technique of layered surfaces, usually working in opposites, from darks to lights, from turquoise and jade to reds. The layering gives added texture, glimpses of underlying colours added variety, topped by a final glaze to express the wonderment of life. Birds and bare-bosoms are metaphors of freedom, as likewise paintings of childhood memories, of innocence recollected and, To the Moon and Back, the possibility of dreams. As the spring of youth finds fullness in summer, Summer Garden parades the blossoming of womanhood, of letting go and becoming woman. A background in fashion provides touches of the fashionable, the beauty of the beautiful, and the eye of seeing. Daddo says, ‘Painting for me is like creating a conversation, a memory, a yearning.’
Janine has enjoyed ‘sell-outs’ in Sydney, Melbourne and Chicago, and her work is now enjoyed in private collections throughout Australia and as far afield as London, New York and Singapore.
1979-81 - Studied Graphic Art and Design, RMIT, Melbourne. Finished with Honours and Dux
1981 - Worked as illustrator in Fashion and Retail Industry
1982-94 - Advertising career working for several large and boutique agencies in Melbourne and Sydney
1994 - Full-time mother and artist
Michelle Hamer, ‘How it feels to be a famous artist’, The Age, Melbourne, January 17, 2008
Coast Magazine, December 2011