Henry Ryman never thought he had any artistic abilities until one day about five years ago, a neighbour convinced him to join a local art class. He drew a dog that was so good, it amazed him.
All these years later, the talented GemLife Highfields resident is running his own group for any of his fellow neighbours who are interested in having a go to see if they too have what it takes to create a work of art.
“We welcome all residents to join the GemLife Art Group, from beginners to accomplished artists,” said Henry, who, despite completing many inspired artworks does not consider himself an actual artist.
“I do art, but I’ve never considered myself an actual artist. I just love it and get totally engrossed in painting and now have 50 different colours of acrylic paint and many brushes and canvases on my work bench at home. Whenever I get a spare hour or two, I paint.”
The idea to start up a new group at GemLife Highfields where he and his wife Colleen have lived for the past 11 months was based simply on the fact that there was none in existence.
“I thought I would start my own group and see if there was any interest.”
To Henry’s delight five residents came to his first art class in mid-2020 and even more attend his regular weekly sessions today.
The attendees represent all levels of the craft. According to Henry, several have never done art previously but are producing very good work and there are also some accomplished artists whose work has been featured in many exhibitions.
“There are some very good artists here at the resort … all I did by starting the group is bring them together.”
Henry said he encourages everyone who is interested in art to come along. All they need to do is bring their own paint and utensils.
“It is up to the individual what they want to do, whether that is drawing with pencils or painting on a canvas.”
GemLife Highfields is surrounded by great places that help inspire creativity.
Recently the art group visited the local Chocolate Factory where outdoor tables and chairs and amazing scenery that stretches to the nearby mountains provided the ideal location to indulge their passion.
“We all inspire each other and are on hand to offer critiques and handy tips. At the Chocolate Factory we were also able to enjoy chocolates and morning tea.”
Henry said that people should come along and try drawing or painting, even if they have never tried it before, saying many could be pleasantly surprised.
“We may not be the next Rembrandt but we certainly have a lot of fun!” he said.
When asked if the group has held a combined showing of their works, Henry said:
“We haven’t quite evolved that far but we are getting close and will probably have an exhibition when GemLife Highfields holds its next craft display. That is definitely something to look forward to.”