Jean did not begin painting until 2001. Her sister-in-law, E. Jean Sunderland, encouraged her to attend Margaret Sargant’s drawing lessons at Dunsborough Art Society and so began a commitment to creating works of art. Her original work was in black and white, then pastels became a passion and now she has mastered acrylic paints. Watercolours are her next great challenge.
Jean’s childhood was spent in and around Perth and after she married Al, who was a company representative, they moved quite frequently, as Al was transferred to different posts. One shift was to Kalgoorlie and when Jean saw the house they had been allocated she sat down and cried. However, Kalgoorlie was a wonderful place to live, despite the dust storms, and they enjoyed their time there. Jean is adept in finding positives in all situations.
Some years later Jean and Al bought the Siesta Park store, which was primarily a bread, milk and paper outlet. With their three children they built up the business and a life of serious hard work, long hours, no holidays (except the afternoon of Christmas Day) and a commitment to serving the community. The first day’s takings in the shop amounted to $17.00!
For Christmas Days they cooked up to 34 chickens for holiday customers; Jean made the best milkshakes in the Busselton area; they made their own ice and Al transformed it into crushed ice by dropping the huge ice block, in its bag, on the cement floor; they bought from Allan Miles, the fisherman, mullies, white and blue bait, which they bagged for sale; and an Aboriginal family, the Hills, caught the octopus for them to sell. Jean and Al tried to accommodate all customers even if they had to delve into their own household supplies for such things as sewing needles and lost button replacements.
Jean was far too busy to think of creating art, for as well as the shop she had their children’s sporting activities to attend, as all the children were excellent and enthusiastic sportspeople in netball, football, gymnastics and road walking.
It is quite amazing the latent talent in people and once this talent in Jean was tapped she bloomed. Over the last fifteen years she has partaken of an amazing learning curve. She is not afraid to experiment, to delve into the unknown, with the exception of watercolours and to embrace new ideas. Her skills have developed accordingly and her confidence in her ability is now at such a level she is tentatively approaching the idea of attempting watercolours. Novices to watercolour painting fear it, as they think each stroke is irreversible and they dare not make a mistake. Once this erroneous premise is overcome the novice can learn to fly.
And Jean will soar, as a talented and courageous artist.
Jean may be contacted on 08 9751 5924
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