History inspires artwork

Holly ThompsonManjimup-Bridgetown Times
Patricia Higgott with some of her artwork on display at the exhibition.
Camera IconPatricia Higgott with some of her artwork on display at the exhibition. Credit: Holly Thompson

Bridgetown resident Patricia Higgott has not always been an artist but recently started to capture pieces of the town, inspired by her love for history.

Patricia moved to Bridgetown about 14 years ago and created her first painting in 2010, but then did not paint again until several years later.

She was re-inspired by some pictures of the old buildings in Bridgetown, which she came across as a member of the historical society.

She now has her artwork for sale at the Bridgetown Library in her first ever art show, utilising mostly water colours, with some acrylic and pastels.

“The lady I paint with had one here in the middle of the year and she said it was a great way to meet lots of people and I thought that sounds better than sitting at home in your own studio,” she said.

The art on display includes paintings of flowers and old buildings in Bridgetown, most of which have been rebuilt or replaced.

Some of the paintings are based off pictures and some are things Patricia has come up with on her own.

“The historical society probably has 2000 to 3000 photos of the town in the early days which are absolutely brilliant and I rather like old buildings so that was a perfect thing for me to paint,” she said

“Most people have no idea about the beautiful buildings we had in the town and this is a way of showing them off.”

For this reason Patricia said they were her favourite things to paint, but her favourite painting she has ever created is one of her pet dog Allie.

“I’ve captured her personality just right and I cannot sell it because I love it so much and I think it might be the best thing I have ever done,” she said.

“I’ve never done animals before and I am actually a little scared to paint any more of her because I do not know if I can get it to look so accurate again.”

Patricia used to be a hairdresser and said she had always had a creative flair but never had the time to paint.

She said she now loved to paint so much she often lost track of time when she was in her studio at home.

“Sometimes I start painting in my studio and then after four or five hours I suddenly realise how long it has been and that I have no tea ready because I got so engrossed,” she said.

Her paintings take between several hours to several days.

“It can take you quite a long time because water colours take ages to dry, so it is ideal to have a few paintings on the go at one time because sometimes it can take hours to do just one flower” she said.

“Water colour is good but it is also very unforgiving, you make a mistake and that is it, all you can do is go over with a darker colour.”

She said the next thing she paints might be of some places other than Bridgetown and also said she would like to try oil painting.

“My family came out from England in 1830 and there is some old photos of some of the farms they would have lived on, which were all around Bindoon and Gingin, so I might paint those,” she said.

“There is so much around here really though and I think the area could keep me going for another 10 years.”

Her exhibition will run until December 19.

“You never get the money back that you put into the paintings even with an exhibition but you do not do it for that, you do it for the love of it,” Patricia said.

“Plus it is great for the ego to say you have had your own exhibition.

“It makes me very happy to say that.”

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