Mu­ral kicks off artis­tic dream

Whitsunday Times - - NEWS -

WHEN El­iz­a­beth Ottey faced a near-death ex­pe­ri­ence, she knew it was time to pur­sue her dream of be­com­ing an artist.

Born with an ex­tra artery and lung lobe that were con­nected, it was in 2015 when one day her lung started to fill with blood, caus­ing her to un­dergo emer­gency surgery.

“I just knew at that point that I had to pur­sue my dreams,” she said.

Fast for­ward to 2017 and that is ex­actly what she has done.

Two years af­ter the life-chang­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, Ms Ottey has put her name to a mas­sive mu­ral at Air­lie’s new­est restau­rant, Hem­ing­way’s at Abell Point Ma­rina.

But it wasn’t an easy jour­ney.

“I stud­ied art in col­lege and I wanted to pur­sue it as a ca­reer but I got stuck in this cor­po­rate job,” she said.

“Then I had this near-death ex­pe­ri­ence.

“Af­ter two months I de­cided I can’t do this job any more, I have to pur­sue my dreams, and shortly af­ter that I de­cided to leave the (United) States and went to Thai­land to speak English.”

It was May 2016 when Ms Ottey ar­rived in Aus­tralia, mov­ing to Air­lie Beach in Jan­uary 2017 and find­ing work as a wait­ress at Hem­ing­way’s.

“I saw the type of de­sign the in­te­rior de­signer wanted to do, which was a black and white kind of neu­tral theme, and I thought the type of paint­ing I do would fit re­ally well,” she said.

“I showed her the kind of work I do and said I could paint a pic­ture of (Ernest) Hem­ing­way and she saw it and said she’d been look­ing for an artist but couldn’t find any­body.”

Since liv­ing in Air­lie Beach, Ms Ottey said she had gained a new zest for life and was ea­ger to build on her dreams.

Fol­low­ing the com­ple­tion of the mu­ral, she said she’d re­ceived many com­pli­ments from din­ers at the restau­rant and passers-by.

“I’m very proud and I’m very ex­cited,” she said.

“I never thought it would hap­pen and now that it has, I feel re­ally good about it.

“This is my first step into some­thing that could be much big­ger.”

Check out Ms Ottey’s art­work via­ or through her Liz Ottey In­sta­gram.

TA­LENT: Liz Ottey with her mu­ral at Hem­ing­way’s.

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