Lyn Laver-Ahmat’s said her love of nature was what inspired her to paint the goose ponds. Picture: Andrew Sorensen
Lyn Laver-Ahmat’s said her love of nature was what inspired her to paint the goose ponds. Picture: Andrew Sorensen

Love of nature inspires artist to paint and escape life

HER love for art and working with children inspired a Mackay artist to become an arts teacher at the age of 50.

Lyn Laver-Ahmat said had always dabbled in painting but “went to university quite late” because she was raising her children.

She has 20 years experience working as an arts teacher and said painting was a healthy retreat for her mind from the daily stresses of life.

Laver-Ahmat said her earliest memory of drawing was when she was about five years of age when her parents gave her some paper to draw on.

“I think I used to draw kangaroos and ballerinas,” she said.

What ultimately led to her paint and pursue it was classes with Australian artist Clem Forbes, who she said taught many people in Mackay.

“I’ve always drawn and took up classes with Clem Forbes, who’s a famous teacher around here,” she said.

“He was sort of a bit of a catalyst for a lot of people.”

Her painting “After the rain” was painted on an acrylic on canvas. Picture: Lyn Laver-Ahmat
Her painting “After the rain” was painted on an acrylic on canvas. Picture: Lyn Laver-Ahmat

Laver-Ahmat said she used painting as a way to capture her many travels and the sights she saw throughout Australia.

She said she did not have a time limit, nor did she have a vision of what one of her art pieces looked like when she painted, letting her feelings guide her.

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“I go out on en plein air,” she said.

“It means you go out into the landscape and you draw or paint from it.

“That’s what I do, I draw, then I come home and I work in the studio.

“I might make that into a painting or might just make it as is.”

Laver-Ahmat said she loved the environment and was concerned for it but none of her work served as a form of social commentary.

She was given free rein by the Artspace to choose the theme, which she chose to be around landscapes. Picture: Andrew Sorensen
She was given free rein by the Artspace to choose the theme, which she chose to be around landscapes. Picture: Andrew Sorensen

“I think the environment is really, really important and we have to look after it,” she said.

“To be out in the landscape is an absolute joy for me.

“My paintings are about my love for the landscape.

Her exhibition Light on Landscape was inspired by this love and she said she was allowed to choose the theme.

‘The director of Artspace asked me to put in a proposal,” Laver-Ahmat said.

“It had to go through a board and I want to do big landscapes.

‘The bigger they are, the more your whole self is involved.

“They liked the concept.”

Laver-Ahmat’s Artspace exhibition Light on Landscape starts Saturday and runs until February 14.

But she will do a free talk tonight — Thursday December 3 — at Artspace from 6pm ahead of the exhibition opening.

Visit Artspace for more information to book a spot.

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