Artwork by Elena Churilova.
Artwork by Elena Churilova.

Outdoors arts workshop to connect like-minded people

A CENTRAL Queensland artist has developed a creative workshop to allow other artists to enjoy the outdoors and companionship in what has been an isolating time for many.

Rockhampton based Elena Churilova is taking her ‘Roadside Picnic’ workshop to Emerald this weekend.

The social painting get-together was born in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, targeting those feeling deprived of social interaction.

“I’m an introvert, but even I started feeling deprived of social interaction when all the restrictions were in place,” Ms Churilova said.

“I was feeling a lot of people would be in a worse situation than myself.”

All workshops had ceased, and being a regular tutor at the Rockhampton art gallery, Ms Churilova took it into her own hands to start an outdoor, socially distanced workshop.

She said the majority of her usual students were women who also fell in the high-risk age category.

“There is safety in numbers, so while one woman wouldn’t go outside and paint by herself, she can do it with others,” Ms Churilova said.

“You can stay for as long as you want. It’s a creative way to get together socially with like-minded people.

“Painting outside is a great way to join fresh air, people’s companionship and art.”

Ms Churilova said the free session was a community service for people who were feeling lonely.

They don’t need to be an artist or fall into any particular age group, the session is open to all ages.

“I enjoy myself because I like to paint with other people, it’s fun.”

She is encouraging people from Emerald and surrounds to join her at the Emerald Botanic Gardens on Sunday, July 26 from about 10.30am to 2.30pm.

“Bring whatever you need for painting outside in your preferred medium.”

Ms Churilova said she simply organised it, and hopes people across the region will continue the sessions for months and years to come.

Contact Sharon Gimbert on 0409 820 790 for more information.

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