'Remarkable Women' made visible by Dunsborough artist

The inspiration for Dunsborough artist Lyn Ward's work has always been drawn from the natural environment, but recently it has been the strength of the human spirit which has lit her creative fire.

Ward began a dalliance with portraits when painting her grandchildren but after the passing of her mother, she felt compelled to paint her, and other women from her mother's generation.

The piece, Remarkable Women, has become her main entry in the upcoming Margaret River Region Open Studios and has a timely message with March 8 being International Women's Day.

"I thought of all these women, my aunties, my mother's friends, and other women, from Scotland to New Zealand, who had been my mentors throughout life," Ward said

"It got me thinking how these women have become invisible and overlooked in our youth culture when they have all this wisdom and stories to tell that are valuable and interesting.

"I wanted to make a statement. I just wanted people to see, with an exclamation mark, the value of our older generations of women."

While the work is a sidestep from her usual pieces, her work over the years has 'never been consistent'.

"I can't paint the same thing again and again," she said.

"My work has always come from my centre, my self, my gut, I get an idea or a thought that I try to convey, rather than sitting back staring a trees, shadows on a road or rolling waves. It comes from my centre."

Ward said she was thrilled to again participate in Open Studios.

"The event is an absolutely fantastic opportunity to open your studio, talk about your work, learn about what the visitors like about art and what they feel about your art," she said.

"You get to interact with the community and visitors to the area, get ideas, find out what inspires them and talk about what inspires you."

Margaret River Region Open Studios is a free annual event showcasing visual artists in the region.

The event will be held over 16 days from April 27 to May 12, with 101 artists opening their studios.

For more information on the event, visit mrropenstudios.com.au.