LOCAL TALENT: Heather Wehl is one of the local entrants in the 2018 Emerald Art Awards.
LOCAL TALENT: Heather Wehl is one of the local entrants in the 2018 Emerald Art Awards. Kristen Booth

Outback inspires artist

A CHILDHOOD passion has followed Heather Whel from childhood to retirement.

Her artistic journey evolved from an early age, starting when she won her first official award in primary school.

She took a brief painting pause when she was married to raise her family, but picked up the brushes when the children left for boarding school "and I've enjoyed my art ever since with all sorts of interesting pursuits”.

Over the years her iconic work has been featured in exhibitions all over the world - New York, London and Australia.

The 68-year-old has always been inspired by her surroundings, particularly the way of life in the bush and portrayed this through the use of watercolours.

"I was lucky enough to attend some workshops with top water colourists and I got very inspired by watercolour and the translucency seemed to suit the hot/dry climate of the bush,” Mrs Wehl said.

"It's (painting) very rewarding, it's a great thing to do. I'm very inspired by my surroundings and way of life - when I lived in the bush I wanted to portray that in my art. The country is a great place to live - the way of life in the bush is very unique in Australia.”

She moved to Emerald seven years ago to be closer to her family, and her art has continued to develop from strength to strength.

Mrs Whel is entering two pieces of art in the Emerald Art Awards and is encouraging other local artists to join her.

"I think if they have an interest in art it will certainly be beneficial to them to display and exhibit their art and be inspired by other people's work,” she said.

"You get a lot of benefits by participating - exhibiting your art adds confidence for sure.

"Art's pretty much a hobby to me now because I travel a lot and have grandkids and other hobbies, but I like to support the art community, it's all good fun.”


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