Patti Hall, resident at Stockland Donvale Retirement Village has been painting for 25 years, below she shares her COVID-19 related story.
I have been painting for about twenty five years and buying into the serene Donvale Retirement Village has given me the precious time to indulge my passion without the encumbrance of caring for a large house and garden – just a smaller version of both.
Travelling the world solo, with Koonung Buswalking, a club I am a member of and also my art teacher Susan O’Brien has opened a new chapter in my life. Each change of scenery was viewed as a potential painting, aided by wonderful opportunities to see works by many master painters.
Painting Australian bushland scenery, a new obsession, then with new grandchildren – a series of them in beach scenes and also with the International Flower Show, modern floral arrangement paintings - all of which have sold well but I have been urged by my teacher to continue exploring new techniques and styles.
As a member of a many groups including Probus Club, local Historical Society, Koonung Bushwalking, being Manna Care volunteer for 26 years (Australia Day Menzies Award) and office bearer for Heidelberg Artists Society, whilst also being enabled by retirement village living freedom - I was very much enjoying my charmed lifestyle and then came the Corona Pandemic!
As the pandemic hit us, my family became paranoid re my health, safety and social isolation but with assistance from online art supplies and wonderful village staff, I have been coping just fine.
Previously, through Rotary Art Exhibitions I had success with a new series of paintings of local scenes in a distorted fashion and so began “Melbourne after Corona” on a 125 x 60 centimetre canvas. Each building had to be viewed through Google and sketched onto the canvas in a distorted fashion, even resorting to photographing the evening news just for the background view of Melbourne CBD. Of course, every channel showed a different colour of the buildings and I could not travel into the city to verify the correct colour. My IPad battery needed recharging every night and Telstra kept advising me that my screen time was up each day! This painting saved my sanity as I had not been out of the front gate of the Village for 6 weeks!
What to do now that it is finally finished!?