Swap­ping a paint­ing for the rent on your stu­dio. How I wish I was Zoe Young’s land­lord. This tal­ented artist’s work cap­tured my at­ten­tion as soon as I saw it,

Country Style - - A LETTER FROM THE EDITOR -

so she was a nat­u­ral choice to be in­cluded in our an­nual Art Is­sue. I also loved her take on the barter econ­omy! I’ve al­ways thought you have to be par­tic­u­larly brave to be an artist, so I re­ally ad­mire the peo­ple who have the courage to do it. It’s very of­ten an all-con­sum­ing thing — Zoe’s hus­band Reg calls her in the af­ter­noon to make sure she hasn’t lost track of the time, some­thing I can un­der­stand and I re­mem­ber rush­ing to pick kids up from school after be­com­ing com­pletely im­mersed in writ­ing a story. But art is not just about the ‘work’, it’s a way of life. This is why I asked So­phie Hansen to write about her mother, artist An­nie Her­ron, and the beau­ti­ful home she cre­ated on page 44. I was lucky enough to spend an af­ter­noon at Kim­bri Farm, which is just over the NSW Blue Moun­tains — about two-and-a-half hours’ drive west of Syd­ney — and there truly is art at ev­ery turn. From the aga­pan­thus sculp­ture in a gar­den bed to the vi­brant wooden doors of the shed (I call that colour scheme art!), it is a very in­spir­ing place where An­nie has held res­i­den­tial art classes for the last 20 years. “Any­one can learn to paint and draw,” is An­nie’s mantra. “If you can write your name you can do a draw­ing. How far you take it is up to you. Art is like any­thing — like golf or ten­nis, it’s a skill you can learn, but you have to be ded­i­cated and prac­tice to get good.” An­nie’s words are en­cour­ag­ing — per­haps there’s hope for me yet. If I can make the time (and sum­mon the courage) you may just find me be­hind an easel one day.

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