Tenant Hope in her home at Cardiff NSW

Hope’s castle

Newcastle tenant Hope took up watercolour painting at age 63.

The mum of four says she has always been creative but struggled to find an art form she was passionate about.

Hope has found her artistic niche and is producing some beautiful paintings from her studio in her Home in Place villa.

She started painting basic flowers, and after reading endless books and watching hours of online tutorial videos, she progressed to animals and birds.

“I am gravitating to producing proper botanicals at the moment,” Hope says. “I love animals, birds and plants. The subject has to capture me for me to want to paint it.”

Watercolour painting involves a lot of layering, so each piece can take Hope days, even weeks, to finish.

Hope’s kids have grown up and she is no longer working so she has more time on her hands. She says painting takes her to another space where she doesn’t think about life’s daily struggles.

She started giving away her art to friends and family as presents but is hoping to create a little side business. With her daughter’s help, she has created a Facebook and Instagram page to showcase her art.

“The materials – paints, brushes and paper – are expensive, so I’m trying to recover some costs.”

Hope moved into a Home in Place home in Cardiff, one of the 493 homes built across the Hunter and Central Coast under the NSW Government’s Social and Affordable Housing Fund program. Prior to that, she lived for a few months in one of Home in Place’s Affordable Housing homes in Belmont.

“I feel so lucky to have this place – it is my castle. I have some space to do my art properly.”

“I find Home in Place staff want to help their tenants with information about jobs and other opportunities – not just collect rent.”