Chloe Hart has a gift, though at first glance she looks like any other 14-year-old girl.
With a mop of blond hair wrapped in a crude bun on top of her head, school tie undone and paint stuck to her hands, Chloe, who is shy by nature, gingerly introduces herself.
Attention makes her blush, but it is something she will have to get used to.
Chloe is a Hart – the grand-daughter of iconic Australian artist Pro Hart and daughter of his son, David, also a renowned artist and gallery owner. Now, Chloe is making her own mark.
“I’ve always painted and made things. It’s just what I do,” said Chloe, who lives with her father and mother, Christine, on their serene Tanawha property.
“The first thing I remember making that I was really proud of was a painting of flowers I did for my Year 3 teacher. It was a present for her.”
The way Chloe’s art career is going, that lucky teacher now owns a highly-prized piece of investment art.
Chloe, a Year 9 student at Sunshine Coast Christian College, sold her first painting at the age of 11 in her parents’ Noosa Hart Gallery.
Every year since she has produced three to four works, all of which have been snapped up by savvy investors. There is a waiting list for her work at present.
At the end of this month Chloe will take part in her first exhibition, which will showcase the work of three generations of Harts – Pro, David and Chloe – called Generation Next.
“My friends at school think it’s pretty cool my paintings are going to be exhibited, but it’s no big deal,” Chloe said.
“None of my friends and teachers really know about my family and their art, and it’s not something I talk about much. I don’t think my art teacher even knows.”
Chloe has travelled around the world and seen the work of many masters.
She said Egyptian hieroglyphics fascinate her, as do the intricate painting in ancient synagogues.
When asked who her favourite artist was though, her answer was simple: “My dad”.
David, who grew up surrounded by one of Australia’s foremost private art collections, said there was no pressure for Chloe to follow the family legacy and become an artist.
He knows being a Hart comes with expectation.
“I didn’t really start painting properly until I was 16, and it was then I realised I did want to be an artist,” David said.
“There is no way I’d ever push Chloe to become an artist. I think the most important thing is to create opportunities for her to discover art for herself.
“If, however, Chloe decides she wants to be an artist she will have a unique platform, which is the Hart name, she can work from.”
Chloe is not certain of the path she will follow, but it is clear she wants to pave the way developing her own distinct style.
Her work is different to the Harts who have come before her, abstract and full of colour. David calls them “action paintings”.
In the past Chloe has been commissioned to paint several iconic Hart dragonflies, but said “they’re not my thing”.
“I know that painting will always be a part of my life and I couldn’t imagine what it would be like if I didn’t have art,” Chloe said.
“My poppy (Pro) and dad have taught me a lot and I know I’m lucky. I just love making pretty things.”