Creations are from her art and soul

By Jennifer Champan, Fraser Coast Chronicle, 2010

SHE IS an accomplished artist and photographer yet her modesty is so great, not many of us would ever have known. 

That is, if she didn’t allow her arm to be twisted so her talents could be revealed to the Fraser Coast. 

Photojournalist Jocelyn Watts was given her first camera – a Box Brownie – when she was eight years old. Just three years later, she won her first prize at a regional photography show. 

Since then, she has rarely been seen without a camera in her hands. Next Door Neighbour

“For me, photography is about capturing moments in time,” explains the Maryborough resident of 18 years. 

“Including,” she adds, “the ever-changing light in landscapes, fleeting moments in sport or at family gatherings and social events – things that happen too quickly to be captured with an artist’s brush. 

“A camera lens can also block out peripheral objects to home-in on patterns, shapes and colours, as in micro photography, that could otherwise be missed by the naked eye.” 

Jocelyn enjoys snapping travel experiences, sport, people, nature, landscape and architecture. 

She has always used Canon equipment and recently upgraded to a Canon EOS 5D Mark II and a 17-40mm wide-angle lens (EF Series). 

Jocelyn is a member of Hervey Bay Photography Club and the Australian Photographic Society. 

“My goal is basically to keep on improving and create the best images I can. If a travel company offered to pay all my expenses, take photos and write, I wouldn’t argue,” she laughs.

“But being more realistic, it would be nice to show my images in an exhibition or coffee table books, or calendars some day. Bagging a few awards, if I were lucky enough, would be a bonus.”

Jocelyn has already won many awards including the photography club’s Colour Print of the Year for 2009. 

In 2003, she swept the pool at the Australian Photographic Society B9 Print folio awards with five first places in Open Print categories. 

Between 1998 and 2009 she added to her collection of another four first prizes at the Fraser Coast Show. 

And in 1999, Jocelyn took home the Qld Country Press Association Awards title of Sport Photo of the Year. 

Jocelyn’s creative (photography) flare was no doubt inherited from her father, an international award-winning photographer, who gave her that beloved Box Brownie. 

But it is not only photography this artist is skilled at. 

“I’ve always drawn, sketched or dabbled in some sort of art or craft. Art was not a subject at the outback school I went to, but soon after leaving I enrolled in an oil painting workshop being run at the town’s cultural centre that my parents co-founded. 

“During the 1980s I designed motifs that I machine-appliquéd on to T-shirts, tops and cloth nappies. 

“After moving to Maryborough in the early 1990s, I was working part-time and in my spare hours delved into painting again, this time with pastels and acrylics as well as oils.”

Jocelyn describes her style as realism but wants to move toward impressionism. 

“I’d be great at counterfeit, if I had the inclination to make a few bucks on the black market,” she jokes. Seriously though, reproductions could be a speciality.”

Jocelyn has not yet held a solo exhibition, for art or photography, but is hopeful that day won’t be too far away.”

 

 

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Children’s author to add her own magic to Mary Poppins Festival

Author and illustrator of the Ruby Red Shoes series Kate Knapp will bring her own brand of magic to the Mary Poppins Festival this June-July school holidays in Maryborough.

The Brisbane-based writer and artist was a perfect fit for the festivities,” Fraser Coast Tourism and Events marketing and communications manager Bradley Nardi said.

“Kate creates all of her artwork by hand using pencils, ink, watercolour and a little magic and of course we all know how enchanting the world’s most famous fictional nanny is.

“During the festival, Kate will be exhibiting her work and doing readings.”

Ms Knapp said the main similarity she saw between herself and Mary Poppins author P.L.Travers, who was born in Maryborough, was the desire to tell stories for children.

“Both Mary Poppins and the Ruby Red Shoes books have characters that children relate to and offer them some kind of companionship and teachings,” she said.

“Much of my inspiration comes from my childhood. It was simple and filled with interesting characters. There was plenty of time and space to develop my imagination.

“Plenty of quiet contemplative space, in my experience, is perfect for hatching creative ideas.

“Nature, friends and family, as well as children are a source of many ideas and subject material.”

Storytelling at Maryborough

Ms Knapp said it was a wonderful idea to have a celebration of storytelling in one of Queensland’s historic cities and she was excited to be attending. 

“It makes me feel like a child again,” she said.

“Ruby Red Shoes loves scones with strawberry jam and cream and has her fingers crossed that there will be someone serving them in Maryborough for the festival!”

Ms Knapp has visited Maryborough many times as a good friend of hers lives in the Heritage City.

“It’s a wonderful town and particularly appeals to my love of historical buildings as well as the unique charm of the wide streets, the Mary River, quaint cottages and measured pace of life.”

Mr Nardi said workers renovating the former bank building where P.L. Travers was born had encountered significant unforeseen restoration work while converting it to an interpretive centre.

He said in order to allow repairs to continue and ensure the heritage-listed building is safe and secure for future generations to enjoy, the planned sneak peek at the Story Bank had been removed from the Mary Poppins Festival schedule.

“But visitors will be able to learn about the extensive building restoration works and the plans for the interpretive centre,” he said.

The stately building was purchased by Fraser Coast Regional Council in 2015 and is undergoing a $2.2 million refurbishment with grant funds from the Australian Government’s Community Development Grants Program, the Queensland Government’s Building Our Regions Funding and the council.

Mr Nardi said there would still be plenty of other high jinks for festival goers to enjoy from June 29 until July 8 including a creative writing workshop hosted by visiting author of the Extreme Adventure series Justin D’Ath and Kids’ Party Confidential with comedian and author Sean Murphy.

During the festival’s major celebration, A Day in the Park on July 7, everyone can join in the fun of the grand parade, nanny race and chimney sweep challenge.

And that’s just the beginning of the charming fun! Visit marypoppinsfestival.com.au for more details.


Photo by Natalie McComas 2013, courtesy Fraser Coast Tourism and Events.

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