OWNING a floral shop and being a displayer artist for many years pushed Val Stevens to pursue her love for art and to start painting in 1993.For decades, Stevens taught herself the tricks of the trade and eventually began teaching others by becoming a member of the Highway Art Group. “I’ve always been a creative person but just that I never knew which way to go,” Stevens said. Although Stevens initially started painting in 1993, she says it was all for fun and not professionally. “I started painting professionally in 1997 because by then I had mastered painting really well,” said the artist. “I love practicing my art because it’s something that’s inside of me and by doing it I’m expressing my feelings about my surroundings,” she said.She also mentioned that she loves art because it challenges her: “It’s been a wonderful journey because I’m always learning new things and I enjoy doing it as it challenges me,” she said, adding that mixing colours in particular fascinates her. The self-taught artist has won a number of competitions and has offered workshops in various countries, where she shared her love for pastels.Stevens has won the On-Show Highway Art Group title for seven years running, and has done workshops in the United Kingdom and Australia where she has offered quite a few demonstrations for the Pastels South Australian Society.When asked if she had anything she would like to share, Stevens she said that many people feel that art is difficult, however, they’ll be amazed of what they can do if they just try. “Believe in yourself and you’ll be amazed of what you can do,” she said.