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Work of art . . . Oamaru artist Luzette Crossan works on one of her paintings at home. PHOTO: TYSON YOUNG

Oamaru is home to many artists. Reporter Tyson Young sits down for a chat with one of them, Luzette Crossan.

Where do you hail from, Luzette?
I come from Johannesburg, South Africa. Once I finished school at 18, I did an OE in London, where I met my husband. He’s from Oamaru. I left home with hardly any money and only had enough to stay in a hostel for about five nights. I had to find a job – it was sink or swim. I was lucky enough to sell paintings I made in school which helped me save enough to leave South Africa.

How long have you been living in Oamaru?
We came back about 13 years ago. So we’ve been here for a wee while now.

Are you a big fan of North Otago?
I’m used to bigger cities but I really love Oamaru. It’s a good town to bring up my kids. I’ve made some really good friends, and you make family with people.

Gentle hands . . . One of the many art works completed by Luzette Crossan. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

What do you do for a living?
I’m a chef, by trade. I finished that last year and now I paint at home.

Do you enjoy having a hobby as a profession?
Yeah, I think whatever you do to make money, you need to love it. I’m really lucky I can do that as it fits in with the family.

How long have you been doing art?
I did my first illustration for a book when I was 10 years old. It’s been quite a while. It’s always been something that had been on the backburner for many years.

Is art something that runs through the family?
My family is quite creative. All of my children seem to be really passionate about creativity. I’ve got a boy that’s 8 years old that loves painting and building stuff.

If you were Prime Minister for one day, what would be the first thing you would do?
I would give everyone a tub of ice cream and make a public holiday once a month.

If you could have a glass of wine with one person – dead or alive – who would it be?
Definitely Vincent van Gogh. He was my first inspiration and I really relate to him. He’s been a really key figure in my life. I would love to have a chat with him and see how he got through his life. He never sold a painting while he was alive.