Ruth and Eric Whisson are showcasing the works of Moreton Bay artists at their own gallery at Cedar Creek.
“Once you get involved with art you almost can’t leave it alone.”
Such has been the case for Cedar Creek’s Eric Whisson, who has spent more than 60 years channelling his creativity with a paintbrush in hand.
“I just started painting when I was about 14 and I found I won lots of prizes,” Eric said.
“I’ve been in art just about all my life and my wife Ruth paints as well, and we’ve got seven kids and out of the whole lot of us there’s only two that don’t paint.”
Having painted his depictions of the Australian bush professionally since the 1960s, Eric has won almost 90 prizes and was short-listed for the prestigious BHP Awards for Excellence two times.
As well as having ten paintings of local creek and river scenes purchased by Pine Rivers Shire Council a decade ago, he was commissioned to create around 230 paintings to hang in the Carlton Crest Hotel in Brisbane.
Eric has also been commissioned to produce works that are on display in London, while his pieces can also be found in private collections in Germany, Japan, Britain, Canada, New Zealand and the United States.
Now one of the patriarchs of the local art scene has opened his own art gallery.
He says the Cedar Creek Art Gallery, nestled in tranquil rainforest surrounds just north of Samford, was established to promote the work of local artists.
“It’s intended to be for artists from the Moreton Bay region because there’s that many artists in the area,” said Eric, who also teaches art at the gallery.
“Many don’t know what to do and how to get in (to galleries) and it’s getting tougher and tougher for artists.
“And every student who comes, when we can get one good enough, we will have a painting of theirs (in the gallery) to try and encourage art.”
The gallery currently features paintings by artists such as Robert Bradfield, Judy Eglinton, Warren Watson, Keith Marshall, Trevor Ryan and two of Eric and Ruth’s sons, Jordan and Todd.
The Cedar Creek Art Gallery is at 923 Cedar Creek Road, Cedar Creek.
The gallery is open Saturdays, Sundays, on public holidays or by appointment. Phone 3289 4667.