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Artists bring colour to new disability service

Corrie painting at home
Corrie is an award-winning self-taught artist who took up painting after enjoying an art activity at Carinity Our House in Toogoolawah.

When Carinity was seeking artwork for our newest disability support service in Kalbar, we didn’t need to look too far.

Two talented artists – and Carinity disability support service users – were thrilled to supply beautiful artwork for Carinity Sunflower House, which offers short-term respite accommodation for people with a disability.

A self-taught artist who is vision impaired, Corrie supplied a botanical artwork that prompted him to reflect on how far his painting has evolved since his first art activity at Carinity Our House five years ago.

“I’ve still got the original picture from back when I didn’t know what I was doing. You would probably think it was done by another person,” Corrie said.

“When I was younger and had better eyesight, I would do lots of drawing and colouring in, but I’ve never had any painting lessons.”

With a philosophy of ‘background first, foreground later’, Corrie loves painting trees, bushes and landscapes – some real, others imagined my him.

Pivotal to his artistic development was watching videos of famous television art tutor, Bob Ross – as suggested by a friend at Our House.

Corrie says adapting Ross’s painting techniques has helped his own artwork to “go from looking pretty average to looking ‘wow’.”

“As Bob Ross said, once you can do it the fear of making a mistake goes away,” Corrie said.

Corrie has done well over 50 paintings, some of which he sold at local church fetes. One of his works won best in show at last year’s Toogoolawah Show.

“We have had service providers visit the centre and want to buy some of Corrie’s artwork,” said Carinity Our House Client Services Coordinator, Maggie Poole.

Befitting the Sunflower House name, Rachael created artworks featuring yellow sunflowers, which are a hallmark of the Kalbar district.

Her two artworks – one a painting and the other a mixed media piece – were created over the period of about four months.

“The first painting I did was done in water colours, which is a most magical medium to use. The second painting I did with acrylic and colourful twill fabric,” Rachael said.

Rachael, who has Cerebral Palsy, paints with her mouth.

“I have been painting since I was five years old. Basically, I taught myself by painting by mouth when I was staying at the Cerebral Palsy League,” she said.

After undertaking an art course at TAFE as a teenager, Rachael evolved into an award-winning artist. She was a finalist for the Portia Geach Memorial Award, Australia’s most prestigious art prize for portraiture by women artists.

“My ultimate favourite things to paint are nature, abstract flowers and landscapes in different styles,” Rachael said.

“Painting allows me to express my thoughts, feelings and my quirky imagination. Art is what I am. It makes me happy to add a bit of colour to Sunflower House.”

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