The Voulez-Vous Project: "I am greedy for colour".

Welcome to Mamamia’s art endeavour, the Voulez-Vous Project. Every week we celebrate emerging artists, designers, illustrators, creators and women who knit using their vaginas. (Kidding. Maybe.)

Our aim: to help the internet become a slightly more beautiful, captivating, or thought-provoking place by making art accessible. To find out more about the Voulez-Vous project, click here. Click here to see all the previous Voulez-Vous posts.


Emotions. We all have them, but how we react to different feelings is what sets us apart from others. Arna Baartz is a self-described emotional painter. She feels a rush of excitement or joy, anger or frustration, but instead of shouting or crying when these feelings come on, she pours her emotions into her art as a way to explore the experience.

Art isn’t just an outlet for her emotions. Arna describes her artistic process as a “merging of physical and spiritual”.

“I believe we are like one huge organism experiencing life in 7 billion ways. I am always excited to play with the idea of contributing to each other’s lives through following our personal joy or dreams. Painting and drawing is where I feel at one and in alignment with the gorgeousness of the universe,” Arna told Mamamia.

One of Arna’s abstract, beautiful pieces.

With an artist for a father and a storyteller for a mother, it’s no surprise Arna has pursued a life in the arts. With eight children of her own, Arna credits her creative outlet as a way to keep the sanity. Her art, she says, is her way of making sense of the world emotionally.

“Art lets me express the universal consciousness that I’ve always felt was more real than the ‘actual reality’ we are living,” Arna said.

“I am inspired by everything, by strange phrases and thoughts. I love all art, even so-called bad art, because at the very least it is someone’s attempt at describing what’s inside their mind and the mind is my muse.”


Arna reveals she actually has quite a few muses when she creates her art.

“My father is my muse, his belief in art as a simple mark making and his search for looseness and freedom in combination with deliberate intentional line in his own work. I love Brett Whitely and his exaggerated limbs, the wonderfully dynamic work of John Olsen who, incidentally, swung me around by my feet when I was two, dipping me hands first into buckets of paint and using me like a paint brush,” she said.

“I am so fickle, my muse is the next smile or tilt of the head I see, a line in the novel I’m reading. You know, it could be anything. It’s always a surprise.”

Her pieces alone can make even the least artistic person in the world appreciate them, with the bold use of colour and intricate lines. To Arna, colour is her drug.

“I am greedy for colour, I often have far too many colours in one piece, but I don’t care, I won’t get fat on it so I might as well gorge myself! I have experimented for years in all types of medium and style and just find the colour play so fulfilling. I think after light, we are colour and then from colour we evolve into form, just like a thought evolves into a painting.”

For more of Arna’s pieces, click through our gallery below.

To see more of Arna’s work you can find her website here and her Facebook here.

Do you know an artist (or are YOU an artist) who creates beautiful or thought-provoking work and whom you think should be featured on Mamamia’s Voulez-Vous Project? Send an email to