Expression with language of art
ART was the first language of Maryborough man Patrick Phillips, whose deafness meant he communicated with pictures as a young child.
But despite learning a trade as a signwriter, Mr Phillips never believed in himself enough to express his creative side.
But then he was coerced into joining a four-day art course last year.
"For some years, family members have endeavoured to convince me to use my artistic abilities as a means of personal expression," Mr Phillips said.
"It literally fell on deaf ears."
But after completing a workshop with an Adelaide artist, 11 of his classmates voted Mr Phillips' paintings the best, and it was just the boost of confidence he needed.
"That was the beginning of the discovery that perhaps I did have some skill," he said.
"The past 18 months has been a journey of personal development.
"A belief that now I do have something worthwhile to offer.
"It is only the beginning.
"My goal is to produce the best results I can for my own satisfaction and to bring enjoyment to others."
After winning a number of prizes, including at the Fraser Coast Show this year, Mr Phillips has opened his first exhibition at Gatakers Artspace.
It is called Visions Of Silence, and features a range of watercolour, acrylic and mixed media works.
These include vibrantly coloured images of city skylines, plunging canyons and delicate portraits.
The exhibition is on show now in Gallery 3, until September 30.