Happiest painting

KIAMA'S Sharon Blair loves being elbow-deep in paint and thanks to her recent success, she can now do it for a living.

Blair had been looking for a way to launch her work when Freedom Furniture's Warrawong store snapped it up.

Prints of her originals are now available from the store, aiming to make art more accessible to buyers.

"It's amazing," Blair said of having her work commercially available.

"When you have that dream and you're working in little steps, step by step, day by day, to achieve things, sometimes it feels an eternity away.

"But things can happen very quickly and you can see your dreams coming to fruition."

She even resigned from her job as a careers counsellor to give her art her full attention.

"[My position] was very rewarding, but the thought of being in my art studio being elbow-deep in paint, it's so exciting," she said.

Blair's work is multi-layered, using a combination of textured papers, watercolours, acrylics, ink pours and charcoals.

Her inspiration can be anything from a line or a shape to nature or childhood memories.

"Some seem to come together effortlessly and others require a lot more composition and design to pull it together, so some are more stubborn than others," she said.

"The way that I paint is very intuitive in that the next step becomes apparent as I'm going through the process of painting."

While she always loved art as a teenager, Blair said she compared herself to classmates.

Sleep deprivation from a new baby about five years ago led her to pick up the paintbrush again.

"My little one didn't sleep for a couple of years - I was working from home and I was studying and felt like I needed an outlet of some description," she said.

"I picked up the paintbrush just for me, just have a bit of a play, and to decorate the house we had at Shell Cove.

"I was having an absolute ball - we went to sell our house and one fellow wanted the artwork thrown in with the house so that got me thinking, 'perhaps I could put these in a retail store'."

The passion took hold - she started masterclasses in experimental mixed media and painted for her friends and family's homes.

"And then they started selling so I thought, 'right, I'm loving this and there's some potential here'."

Visit sharonblair.com.au to see her work.

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