Painting a passion to pass on to others
LOOKING at Mary Argall's beautiful paintings, you wouldn't think her artistic endeavours were initially met with disdain.
The Bargara artist, whose watercolour work has been awarded and exhibited across the country, said her abilities shone from a young age even after her family tried to suppress them.
"I was born in Holland and I wasn't allowed to draw or to paint," she said.
"I was the eldest of nine children and it was regarded a total waste of time, but that didn't stop me."
"I always had this feeling in my fingers, like I needed something in my hand, and it wasn't until later on that I realised it was a paint brush that I was missing."
When she moved to Australia, it was her employers at an accommodation house in the Blue Mountains that discovered her artistic ability and encouraged her to pursue her dream by going to college.
After that, Mrs Argall said her husband, who she met in the Blue Mountains, further supported her talent.
"He just thought I was the best thing since slice bread," she said.
The watercolour enthusiast started off painting in oils before realising she was allergic.
"After we realised I had an allergy, my husband came home one day with watercolours, brushes and paper," she said.
"In those days there was nobody to teach you watercolour so I had to teach myself."
"There were lots of tears and lots of experimentation but it led me to where I am today. "
Mrs Argall has also turned to teaching, with a studio set up in her home and classes about to begin at Take the Plunge Cafe.
And where does her inspiration come from for all this art work? The beauty of Australian nature, of course.
Mrs Argall, who is an avid traveller, said plonking her art supplies down on a patch of grass or dirt with the beautiful Australian scenery in front of her was a favourite past time.
"I have painted Uluru, Tin Can Bay, parts of New South Wales and even the Bargara foreshore," she said.
"The scenery or the flower is what gets me. I call it 'capturing that wow moment' and I sit there looking at it and think 'I just really have to paint you'."
Mary Argall said watercolour art was a fantastic hobby and urged budding artists to head along to her classes at Take the Plunge Cafe, 17 Electra St from next week.
For more information, contact the cafe on 0468 855 449.
MARY'S WATERCOLOUR TIPS
1 Lay your paints on a palette and make sure they are dry to avoid waste.
2 Have the best quality brush you can afford (Mary uses a brush that cost close to $1000).
3 Use good quality paper.
4 Make sure you have a big water bowl and change water frequently.
5 Persist - watercolour is an "absorbing hobby".