Toogoolawah artist brings colour to disability service

Rachael Brook with her artwork created for Sunflower House. Picture: Supplied

When Carinity was seeking artwork for its newest disability support service in Kalbar, they didn’t need to look too far. Artists from across the region rode to their rescue.

A talented Toogoolawah artist and Carinity disability support service user Corrie Young was thrilled to supply beautiful artwork for Carinity Sunflower House, which offers short-term respite accommodation for people with a disability.

An original painting by Corrie, from Carinity Our House in Toogoolawah, adorns the walls at Carinity Sunflower House.

A self-taught artist who is vision impaired, Corrie supplied a botanical artwork for Carinity Sunflower House.

It 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,” he said.

“You would probably think it was done by another person.”

“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 said adapting Ross’s painting techniques has helped his own artwork from looking average to professional.

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

Another contributor was Boonah artist and Carinity disability support service user Rachael Brook.

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,” Brook said.

“The second painting I did with acrylic and colourful twill fabric.”

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

“I have been painting since I was five years old,” she said.

“Basically, I taught myself by painting by mouth when I was staying at the Cerebral Palsy League.”.

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,” Brook 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.”