For more than a decade, journalist Liz Rogers has worked tirelessly to bring readers of Mornington Peninsula Magazine community-focused stories from across the Peninsula. From Mount Eliza to Crib Point, this coast-loving writer has met people from all walks of life and listened intently to their captivating stories. It’s these connections that Liz misses most since putting down the laptop and picking up the pen and paintbrush in her quest for creative expression.
“I love writing about people’s lives, but I’ve written poetry since I was young and I’ve always drawn and played with paint too,” says Liz. “I began painting at the beginning of the year in earnest. All paintings have their own poems which relate to the imagery. Sometimes the poetry informs the painting and sometimes it’s the other way around, but they are deeply connected. My work often explores the notion of existence, reality, and endlessness.”
Having spent much of her childhood holidaying on the Peninsula, then living in Mount Eliza as a teenager and now settled here with her own family, the Mornington Peninsula landscape has been a lifelong force in this creator’s life. Her paintings feature the terrain but not in a traditional sense. Liz’s love of colour and texture means the sky and sea may be neon, dusted with gold leaf or layered with tulle. A mixed-media artist, she works with acrylic paint, tulle, hessian and other fabric, gold, copper, and silver leaf on canvas or plywood. Working with oil paint to bring more luminosity to her work is next on the list while exploring a wide range of themes including timelessness, fragility and strength, space and equilibrium.
Working hard on developing technique is important to this poetry-writing painter. Spending time in her Dromana studio, which she shares with friend and artist Janine Daddo, it appears the two are having a lot of fun. You can see it in their vibrant paintings and feel it in the sea air that blows through the front door. Liz continues: “I spend as much time here as I can. It’s energising and the work improves the more you do of it, which is exciting.”
A recent exhibition at the studio attracted a full house and good sales, and the positive response has fuelled Liz’s desire to continue on her new path. “I’ve been writing for over 30 years in newspapers, magazines, advertising and business-related arenas, but began my writing life with short stories and poetry. I suppose different stages of life bring different ways of expression. I’ll never stop writing but painting is the way forward at the moment.”
So where does this mother of four find the time to pursue all her creative talents? “I make the time by foregoing certain things to create because it makes me happy. I mean, if not now, when? Time moves fast.” And to anyone sitting on a creative dream they’re not following, Liz concludes: “Don’t dream it, do it, and do it every day. Work at it and enjoy the process.”
Liz sells her work framed or unframed on Instagram @lizrogerswrites; you can also commission her to paint a piece with a poem specifically focused on the recipient. Just tell her about the person receiving the gift and she will paint and write accordingly.