COVID-19 lockdowns reignited hobbies and passions that had long since been dormant. Taking up old interests has offered a means to cope with difficult situations, and rediscover skills and abilities initially thought lost.

For Regis Port Stephens resident and artist Graham King, who hasn’t painted in years, picking up the paintbrush again was cathartic. After his Home went into lockdown at the start of this year, Graham, 91, identified an opportunity to get stuck back into his passion.

Regis Port Stephens General Manager, Jill de la Lande, purchased a set of canvases, brushes, and paint for Graham, who wasted no time in letting his imagination run wild. To date, he has produced over 20 beautiful artworks and is showing no signs of stopping soon.

Graham and Jill share regular chats over cups of coffee where they discuss art, make plans for purchasing more equipment, and organise the hosting of an art exhibition. Jill says, “he is just so proud of his work. He and his daughter catalogued his paintings recently and found he has more than 152 artworks.”

Graham’s work has also inspired others in the Home to explore their creativity with the successful development of the art room. The space provides residents with an outlet to express themselves artistically and without judgement. Utilising a vast roster of tools, such as watercolours, oils, pencil, ink, and charcoal, residents have crafted delightful postcards, thoughtful gift cards, and even epic large paintings.

Recently, Graham gifted two of his extraordinary artworks to Linda Mellors, Regis Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer. The artworks sit proudly on display in Linda’s office, where employees continually admire them as an inspiring reminder of our residents’ brilliant skills and achievements.