As my mother-in-law grew older she realised she’d spent most of her adult life looking after her husband and kids, of which she was very proud. But in her 50s she found that the kids didn’t
need her as much, now they were married, and she wanted to take up
a new hobby.
So she began art classes together with a friend and developed an enjoyment of drawing and water-colouring — she was quite good at it, in fact. Breast cancer took her too soon at only 63, but it gave her joy to know that at the midpoint of life she’d developed a new creative outlet. Old dogs learning new tricks!
It gives us great pleasure to see the beautiful still life paintings she created hanging on the walls of the family home, as well as many other paintings, jewellery and artworks by family and friends much more gifted in creative arts than I could ever be.
My mother-in-law enjoyed her lessons at the Castle Hill Art Society (CHAS), which was established in 1967 with the idea of promoting, encouraging and facilitating the practice of the visual arts in the Hills district of Sydney.
The work of many artists over many years has been exhibited at school fairs, festivals and shopping centres for as long as I can remember, giving our community a break from the bustle as we slowly wander through the easels to see what others in our community have produced.
The Castle Hill Art Society has lots of great services running, from exhibitions to demonstrations and classes. Its programs provide learning and friendship opportunities while our community members explore their creative side. It also runs an annual Art Show in October, so look out for this year’s dates!
You can find out more at
In addition to the Castle Hill Art Society, several other terrific artist outlets are available in our region, such as:
• Baulkham Hills Art Society – it holds monthly demonstrations and guest artist visits;
• Young Artists – a visual arts school based in Castle Hill;
• The Sydney Art School – a Baulkham Hills studio;
• Oakhill College – has an annual art show;
• Ceramic Haven – ceramic and resin art workshops at Castle Hill.
You might not know that the Hills area is a playground for artists, and has been for many years. The beauty and serenity of the rural and national park areas of our community inspire so many of the artists who are residents in the district.
The Arcadian Artists Art Trail and Exhibition, 11-13 November 2017, is worth putting in your calendar now.
Eight properties are featured this year in the Arcadian Artists Exhibition and Trail, each with their unique personalities, and all are working studios during the year for the artists who own them.
But during the Arcadian Artists Exhibition and Trail weekend, these artists host other guest artists in their studios and on their properties. In this way, the exhibition can encompass a wide variety of talented people with a diverse range of skills so that the trail becomes an artistic feast for visitors.
The Arcadian Artists information stand will be located outside the Bendigo Bank in the Galston village during the event weekend, where you can pick up a brochure which includes a map to plan your day, or download the brochure from their website:
The trail includes local talent exhibiting their work in mixed media
such as:
• Embroidered and felted artworks
• Mosaic urns, bird baths and wall hangings
• Intricate drawings featuring Australian flora and fauna
• Textured ceramic homewares
• Glass sculpture and jewellery
• Wines from a local heritage winery
• Metal and wire sculptures
• And more.
Perhaps you may feel inspired to start your own small group of friends or a group of school mums trying their hand at being creative, whether it’s painting, drawing, sculpture or jewellery making and scrapbooking.
As long it’s social and fun why not give it a try?