For Jan Farrell her art is like meditation.
The Hastings Valley Fine Art Association gallery coordinator understands the challenges facing many people in trying to fit art into their life but says she is keen for others to follow their dreams.
“When you are working and have children growing up and families you are busy,” she said.
“But now it feels like this is something for me to do. We now have the time to devote to it.
“Art takes you out of yourself. It think of it as meditation, as do a lot of others.
“It is just beautiful.”
The Port Macquarie-Hastings boasts a strong arts community. Jan says the association is fortunate in that some of its 170 members are former retired art teachers who are committed to helping newcomers and in learner groups.
“So many people come here and tell us that they want to do art. But they say they don’t have the talent,” Jan said.
“Anyone can learn. It is not like you need to be born with a talent for art. Obviously, some people are more naturally gifted.
“But everyone can paint. We all have the skill.”
But everyone can paint. We all have the skill.Jan Farrell
Jan is a regular contributor to the association’s Wednesday group – they call themselves the gallery art groupies, GAGs for short.
Jan said one of the attractions for her to attend GAGs is the ability to ‘do your own thing’.
“It is great to come and just paint. But this group also has a monthly challenge too.
“Last month we had to paint a self portrait. But it had to be of the inner you, what we thought about ourselves. For me, I feel like I have a bit of gypsy in me, so colours like red and gold were fairly prominent.
“And while that was a bit deep and meaningful, this month’s challenge was finger painting; we had great fun.”
The association also has a plein air group each Monday which captures the beauty of the area in various locations around the local government area.
The Hastings Valley Fine Art Association meets once a month at its William Street gallery overlooking Oxley Beach. There are three or four workshops each year.
The gallery is a mecca for tourists and has a high clearing rate for its 50 exhibiting artists. There are some 200 pieces on display at any one time and the exhibition is refreshed on a regular basis.
Beginners and learners can source information at their website www.hastingsvalleyart.net.au or email firstname.lastname@example.org