RETIRED teacher, Hazel Nunes (sometimes signing under Carol Hazel Nunes), started her journey with painting 10 years ago. Nunes spoke to the Fever’s Purnal Poonusamy about her journey thus far.PP (Purnal Poonusamy): Can you tell me a bit about yourself? I am Hazel Nunes, Carol Hazel Nunes. I live in Saint Winifreds; I’ve been there for 40 years. I’m a retired teacher; I was a teacher for 38 years. After I retired I had lots of time on my hands and I was invited to go to a craft morning to learn painting with friends. We did “sort-of” art, but it wasn’t really up to scratch. So I decided to go and find an art teacher, and I found a lady called Ritha Fenske, she’s a local art teacher, and from 2008 to now I did lots of lessons with her and she has sort of helped to develop the art that I do. PP: Can you tell me about your interests? HN: I retired (from teaching) in 2007. I go to quilting; I belong to the quilters guild. I make quilts, we work for charity, and we make quilts for the community, for child welfare, for hospice, and for Jabulani. They raffle them and it also helps them raise funds. I do gardening, art, and I look after my husband (laughs). PP: How long have you been painting and what inspired you to start? HN: I started lessons properly in 2008, so about 10 years, so I wouldn’t call myself an artist, I’m a beginner. I went to this craft morning and was interested in learning to do better than what we were doing. And I always did want to do something creative, and in fact I like being creative. I used to make my own clothes and quilting. There is even something called fibre art. Where you actually do art by sewing on a machine and you can do lots of fancy things. Then I took up the oil painting and I like that, but it doesn’t occupy my whole life. Then I joined the art association, USCAA, and we get lots of development from there, because we have demonstrations and art lessons, and all the artists have got different ideas, so you learn different things from them. Then the gallery opened and it’s a good place to put your art, otherwise it sits on a cupboard at home, and no one sees it. At least here it gets an airing and people can view it. PP: Have you embarked on any career-related conquests to painting? HN: No, we’ve done small exhibits when USCAA puts on an art exhibition and they have it once a year at Seadoone Mall. We do a big exhibition at Galleria on the top floor, when they had those empty shops. We’ve done quite a few exhibitions and then we were also invited to an exhibition at the art gallery in Station Road area. There were five of us that took our art there. PP: What do you like about working at Art on Kingsway? HN: Well it’s a nice place to see, and you see all the other art. Once a month we have a bit of a challenge, each month our lady in charge puts us a challenge and we have to paint something quickly, something small which can be sold or its put on a lucky draw and it raises a little bit of funds for the gallery. PP: What inspires your work? HN: I just love to create something lovely from things around. I do a lot of pictures of the sea, the aloes on the beach, i have got a few sea pictures, flowers animals; I do wildlife as well, lions and antelope, zebra and elephants, anything South African. We’ve got wonderful flora and fauna. PP: Motivation for other aspiring painters? HN: Art is very personal. Everyone has got different ideas of what art is, so if somebody wants to try something, then they must go for it.