Dawn Crosbie and Bill Baker at Arcare Springwood.
Dawn Crosbie and Bill Baker at Arcare Springwood.

Art-felt wish now a reality

IT'S not skydiving or swimming with dolphins, but seeing his paintings exhibited was a wish come true for 94-year-old artist William (Bill) Baker.

Bill, a resident at Arcare Springwood, has been painting since he was 12 years old.

"My uncle first bought me a Japanese watercolour tin to try and then I gradually moved on to crayons, pastels and other mediums,'' Bill said."

"At 12 years old, I sold my first watercolour painting.''

Fulfilling residents' wishes is a project of Arcare Springwood's lifestyle team. After organising skydiving and swimming with dolphins, they decided to make Bill's dream come true and showcase, at the centre, his paintings of Australian landscapes, scenic waterfalls and iconic cities.

"A good friend of mine takes photos of landscapes, and I paint them,'' Bill said.

"I tried using oil, but decided watercolour is better and safer. I paint the bush, Australiana landscapes and old hotels.

"I painted when I was young but started working as an engineer in different companies.

"When l turned 60, I decided to slow down and pick up painting again."

The subsequent sale of one of Bill's paintings sparked interest in art and the creation of a permanent painting room in the Arcare complex, complete with easels, paints and brushes for all to enjoy.

Among those residents taking full advantage of the new painting room is the talented 74-year-old Valerie (Dawn) Crosbie.

"I paint in the art room about twice a week," Dawn said. "I love being here and being left alone. I used to get up at 4am and paint in the morning, and before I knew it, it's time for breakfast.

"Time just flies by when I'm painting.

"I was 14 years old when I went to an art gallery and loved it. So, I decided to give painting a go.

"My mother had always painted landscapes, but I prefer abstract.''

Dawn also gathers inspiration from photographs.

"I use my imagination and get inspired to paint something that looks completely different. I use oil in my paintings."

After lockdown, the lifestyle team hopes to organise a group art exhibition for the resident artists.

Until then, they are staying busy, putting their paintbrush to the easel, and sharpening their skills in their new art room.

It's not sky diving or swimming with dolphins but seeing his paintings exhibited was a wish come380 words + hori of the pair. true for 94-year-old artist, William (Bill) Baker.

Bill, a resident at Arcare Springwood, has been painting since he was 12 years old.

"My uncle first bought me a Japanese watercolour tin to try and then, I gradually moved on to crayons, pastels and other mediums. At 12 years old, I sold my first watercolour painting," said Bill.

Fulfilling resident's wishes is a project of Arcare Springwood's Lifestyle Team. After organising sky diving and swimming with dolphins, they decided to make Bill's dream come true and showcase his paintings of Australian landscapes, scenic waterfalls and iconic cities at the centre.

"A good friend of mine takes photos of landscapes, and I paint them. I tried using oil, but decided watercolour is better and safer. I paint the bush, Australiana landscapes and old hotels," says Bill.

"I painted when I was young but started working as an engineer in different companies. When l turned 60, I decided to slow down and pick up painting again."

The subsequent sale of one of Bill's paintings sparked interest in art and the creation of a permanent painting room in the complex complete with easels, paints and brushes for all to enjoy.

Among those residents taking full advantage of the new painting room is the talented 74-year-old Valerie (Dawn) Crosbie.

"I paint in the art room about twice a week," says Dawn. "I love being here and being left alone. I used to get up at 4 am and paint in the morning, and before I knew it, it's time for breakfast. Time just flies by when I'm painting."

"I was 14 years old when I went to an art gallery and loved it. So, I decided to give painting to go. My mother had always painted landscapes, but I prefer abstract."

Dawn also gathers inspiration from photographs.

"I use my imagination and get inspired to paint something that looks completely different. I use oil in my paintings."

Post lockdown, the Lifestyle Team hopes to organise a group art exhibition for the resident artists. Until then they are staying busy, putting their paintbrush to the easel, and sharpening their skills in their new art room.


Meghan, Harry ‘struggling to cope’ in LA

Meghan, Harry ‘struggling to cope’ in LA

Dream of a blissful new life has quickly turned into a nightmare

Fresh confusion over virus 'detention'

Fresh confusion over virus 'detention'

Thousands of Melbourne public housing residents have been provided with "detention...

Man in iconic 9/11 photo dies from virus

Man in iconic 9/11 photo dies from virus

This man miraculously survived the 9/11 terror attacks