If you’d asked Roy Huff twenty years ago how he planned to spend his retirement, he might have said fishing, travelling and putting his feet up. One thing that wouldn’t have rated a mention was painting. It wasn’t until 2002, at the age of 68, that Roy was invited by a friend to come along to a painting session at the Sarina CWA Hall with a group of local artists. Though not impressed at first, Roy continued to attend and eventually caught the painting ‘bug’.
Roy enjoys painting a variety of subjects and has a particular fondness for birds. Many people know him for his quirky representations of local buildings and places, familiar to us all. From the remarkable to the banal, Roy presents everyday, local scenes in a refreshing way and encourages us to take a closer look. Anything is fair game and everything is equal. The beautiful, historic National Bank in Victoria Street, a natural choice, sits alongside the brutal modernism of the Mackay Regional Council building. Greenmount Homestead, a true gem, doesn’t overshadow the Walkerston State School complete with concrete water tower. The former Lister Hospital, with its charming timber features shares its place with the very recently former Mackay Base Hospital.
Roy doesn’t just paint. At the age of 71, he decided it was time he learnt to use a computer. Totally self-taught, Roy began searching the internet for images to inspire new works of art. He then began to use Facebook as a method of sharing his work with others and later a website called Paintings I Love. Roy completes around three paintings a week, photographs them using a digital camera then uploads them to the website where other users can view and post comments. Using these techniques he has sold paintings to people from all around the world.
Roy is a prolific painter. He’s completed hundreds of paintings, held numerous exhibitions around the region and still attends Mackay Art Society every week to meet with fellow artist friends for coffee, conversation and to support each other through painting. Roy will turn 80 next year and shows no signs of slowing down.