Painters back in the frame

Painters Dawn Crosbie and Bill Baker back in the frame at Arcare Springwood

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Dawn Crosbie and Bill Baker in the art studio at Arcare Springwood aged care facility.

Dawn Crosbie and Bill Baker in the art studio at Arcare Springwood aged care facility.

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Art is at the heart of every day for talented painters Dawn Crosbie and Bill Baker.

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DAWN Crosbie and Bill Baker were barely teenagers when they both first fell in love with painting.

Bill, now 94, was just 12 when he sold his first painting after his uncle bought him a tin of Japanese watercolours to try. For Dawn, now 74, it was a trip to an art gallery as a young girl that inspired her to pick up a brush.

The pair did not know each other back then, but they are both now residents at Arcare Springwood aged care facility in Logan, Queensland.

As well as continuing their love of painting - taking advantage of the on-site art room - works by both artists are hung around the facility for residents and visitors to enjoy.

And for both Dawn - a former secretary and property manager - and retired engineer Bill, while their passion for painting was sparked at an early age, it wasn't until they were in their 60s they fully immersed themselves in their art.

VIVID: Arcare Springwood resident and artist Dawn Crosby uses photos and images as inspiration for her colourful oil paintings.

VIVID: Arcare Springwood resident and artist Dawn Crosby uses photos and images as inspiration for her colourful oil paintings.

"When I turned 60 I decided to slow down and pick up painting again," said Bill, who went on to become president of Mt Gravatt Art Group and the invitation-only Half Dozen Art Group.

He was also an instructor at the Royal Queensland Art Society and president of the Australian Artist Guild's Queensland division.

Bill went on to exhibit and sell his artworks - which include watercolours of the bush, Australiana landscapes and old hotels - and give demonstrations and has work displayed in Parliament House as well as private collections.

Now Bill prefers to paint in his room, spending around four hours a day at his easel. "A friend of mine takes photos of landscapes, shows them to me and I paint them," he said.

"Painting is a personal thing. I've demonstrated in crowds for many years. In my room, I paint what I feel, when I feel. I have a cup of tea. It's therapy for me, a companion and it keeps my mind active."

EASEL DOES IT: Bill Baker uses watercolours to paint Australian landscapes. He likes to paint in his room.

EASEL DOES IT: Bill Baker uses watercolours to paint Australian landscapes. He likes to paint in his room.

Dawn, who works with oils, prefers to paint in the art room. "I love being in the the art room and being left alone. I used to get up at 4am and paint in my nightie. Before I knew it, it was time for breakfast. Time just flies by when I'm painting."

She uses photographs and images as inspiration. "Then I put my own spin to it. I use my imagination and get inspired to paint something that looks completely different."

The team at Arcare Springwood held an exhibition for Bill in December. Arcare's Lifestyle Coordinator Rebecca Downey said it was a great experience for Bill to relive his artist showcase days.

"Being able to display his artwork for his friends and family to see was a real proud moment for him," she said. The team is now planning a group exhibition which will be open to the community.

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