About 10 years ago, Glen Smith was faced with that dreaded moment we must all face one day – one of his parents was dying.

He wanted to spend as much time as possible with his father, so he quit 12-hour-a-day finance job and bought an antique shop at the Top of Town.

Glen’s dad moved in with him and they spent many long afternoons sitting together on the verandah of his Bundamba home watching the world go by.

Glen had not tried any sort of art since school, but one afternoon on the verandah he picked up a paint brush and some paper.

These days, Glen is the president of Arts Connect (a group of local artists), he is on the committee for the Ipswich Arts Awards, the Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF) and a member of several art societies.

“There really is more to life then working 12 hour days. I was supposed to just do this for a year, but 11 years later I’m still here at the Vintage Advantage and I’m painting in my spare time. I am happy,” he said.

Glen said that people come to art for all sorts of reasons.

“Sometimes people are looking for something that is missing in that life,” he said.

“Art means so many different things to different people.

“It can be a social thing, it can be therapy. It can just be a reason for getting out of bed each day.

“I think this is why art and culture is so important. It’s all some people have.”

Being an artist in Ipswich means lots of support from the community.

“Ipswich has an amazing art and cultural scene. There are so many theatre groups, dance groups, art groups, if you just look there are so many thing happening for free,” he said.

Rainbow Lorikeet by Glen Smith

Glen’s artwork is currently on display along with other members of ArtsConnect at an exhibition Off The Wall.

“It means you can walk in and literally buy it and take it off the wall and home with you,” he said.

“There are 35 artists exhibiting everything from craft and painting to photography. It’s a great opportunity to get a local piece either for investment or a personal Christmas present.”

Glen believes anyone with an interest can be good at art.

“It’s just practice. Just do it over and over again, keep at it. Be true to yourself and paint what interests you whether it’s nature or people or whatever,” he said.

“For me, I get my enjoyment from watching other people grow and getting good at their art. I also enjoy creating beautiful things and then sharing them with other people.”

Off the Wall exhibition is on at d’Arcy Doyle Place in the Ipswich Community Gallery.

Opens from 10am until 3pm each day until Sunday 2 December, 2018.