How long have you been exhibiting as an artist? 

It all started in 1997, in Brisbane. I was having a work framed as a wedding present, a gallery owner saw it, put my work on his walls and within weeks I had my first sale. My first show in Newcastle was 2001 at von Bertouch Galleries.

Do you consider yourself a full-time artist?

It's now my sole professional work, but I am also loving being a busy mum!

Have you always been interested in painting still lifes? 

Still life has always been my main ground for exploration. I once read a quip by a famous artist that fruit is less complaining than other models. For me it's the colour, the way it changes in different lights and the opportunity to impose moods, atmospheres and tensions. In recent times the cloth beneath that fruit has been just as much the subject.

Do you draw before you settle on a composition for your paintings? 

I often make little compositional abstracts with notes all over them which helps to work things out. I start a painting with an oil sketch on the canvas.

Where else can we see your work? 

I will continue showing some times about Sydney, but in Newcastle I am only showing with Art Systems Wickham.

Jo Bevan's solo exhibition COLOUR IN LIGHT can be seen at Art Systems Wickham from Friday 22 April until Sunday 1 May, with the official opening where you can meet Jo on Sunday 24 April, from 2pm.

~  Interview by Ahn Wells April 2016