The love of Art For me, art is an escape into a world of imagination and passion. Throughout high school years, my study books were full of doodle images much to the dismay of the teachers, so I knew early in life that art was in my blood. Unfortunately, I never followed this path until just over ten years ago, when my then employer had an Archibald challenge for staff to enter. All I can say is the painting was a train wreck (in my eyes) and I definitely did not win. But that event inspired me to visit local galleries and view a variety of styles and mediums, from here my art journey began. Being self-taught, the journey ahead came with its challenges. But with lots of hard work and dedication, my dream of being classed an artist has been fulfilled. There is a gratification that arises from completing a piece that is pleasing to many. Entering art shows and winning awards has given me the encouragement to continue producing interesting paintings and learning new techniques. I exclusively work in soft pastel, as it can be blended to create striking effects with its many vibrant colours. I have experimented with this medium to suit my personal style which is quite realistic. With the use of reference photos, I can ensure scale and perspectives are correct. I paint subjects that mean something to me or to the person who has commissioned me. My current passion is animals and birds, domestic and wild. Showcasing their individual character on canvas. Whether its cheeky sparrows on a branch, or capturing the evil glare of a leopard, I get great satisfaction in seeing the subject come to life. Being part of the Sunbury Art Society, I have the confidence to step outside my comfort zone and experiment with different techniques. The important thing for me is to continue painting and loving the process it takes me through, and if anyone else likes what they see then that’s an added bonus.