Portrait of the Accidental Artist
If Col Nation had not injured his back about 30 years ago, he probably would not be a painter today.
He took up painting as therapy while he was laid up with a ruptured spinal disc. Ironically, it wasn’t a workplace injury although admits he had ‘punished’ his back quite a bit as he operated a carpet cleaning business. “I actually hurt myself at home, unloading the dishwasher if you can believe that.” Col twisted and bent down to retrieve a teaspoon and heard an ominous ‘pop’.
He had to stop work and his recovery was not going very well. “I was literally lying on the floor because my back was so bad and my wife Rose brought home some paints and suggested I have a go,” he explained.
He tried watercolours but they were not vibrant enough; then he dabbled with oil paint, but it was too pungent.
“Finally I tried acrylic and that gave me the colour depth I wanted without the smell. I haven’t looked back since.” Successful surgery at about the same time meant Col could return to his hobby of surfing; and he decided to paint what he saw – surfers and beach scenes.
Today Col is one of our most recognised local artists – a member of the Sunshine Coast Plein Air Painters since 2013 and a member of the Coolum Art Collective https://www.coolumartgroupinc.com.au/ of which he is November’s Artist of the Month.
Col exhibits and he also paints on commission. He will be doing a painting demonstration at the next twilight Art Market, at Yandina Art and Framing, on Friday 11 December.
Col and Rose, who moved to Yandina in 2011, operate a workplace training business http://www.nationtraining.com.au/ for the specialty cleaning industry. “Painting is not my day job,” he explains. “I paint for fun and hopefully this sense of fun is passed on to those who see my art. But people seem to like what I do and are happy to pay me for it, which is amazing to me. If it makes them happy then that is a great thing.
“I guess because I don’t have to make a living out of it, I paint what I want.”
As a keen surfer, Col feels he captures the perspective of surfing in his paintings. “I think I can express the movement because I surf, and I understand how it works.”
Col Nation Art https://www.facebook.com/colnationart on Facebook.