Marc Poisson's artworks have been sold for thousands of dollars to collectors and business people all around the world, but moving to Australia stole his mojo for 15 years.
After he left his homeland of South Africa to be closer to his elderly parents Down Under in the year 2000, the canvas seemed bleak and the brushes lifeless - Mr Poisson had lost the will to paint.
"I couldn't get to grips with the landscape and art in Australia," the now 68-year-old said. "I just didn't connect. I gave up and did other things."
Mr Poisson once produced up to 60 paintings a month for an art dealer on contract, but was reduced to practically none.
He passed on his knowledge and skills to others through teaching, though still couldn't find the inspiration to work at his own easel in his own studio - until he was immersed in Australian works.
In 2015 the artist became a volunteer with the Wollongong Art Gallery, offering his time to frame works ready for exhibition and help restore damaged goods, among other things.
It suddenly clicked, and I've gone back into the art now. I'm painting quite prolifically.Marc Poisson
It was here his desire to paint was reawakened and a newfound love for our landscape blossomed.
"I got to know the artists going back a couple of hundred years," Mr Poisson said.
"Studying and working with actual originals over 200 years old has made a big impression on me.
"Working with these paintings it suddenly clicked, and I've gone back into the art now. I'm painting quite prolifically and it's just flowing."
Familiar scenes from waterfalls at Minnamurra, seascapes at Scarborough, to giant waves crashing at Kiama will form not one but two exhibitions in October for Mr Poisson.
One in the Creative Container in Wollongong's Crown Street Mall from October 19 to November 1; the other at Art In The Dang gallery in Windang from October 23 to November 6.
The price tags on his paintings may bear smaller numbers, but "it's not a big deal" how much money he makes.
"My first exhibition [in my 20s] I couldn't sell a single painting, I couldn't event afford to frame them at the time," Mr Poisson said.
"When I packed the car [after the exhibition] one had been stolen, and I was so chuffed that someone wanted it so much that they stole it. I was thrilled.
"I just want people to appreciate the Illawarra. There's so much here - the beauty and the variety here - it's stunning and I'd love people to be exposed to that beauty."
A large painting may still fetch up to $4000 due to the scale and time that has gone into it.
"If we sell a few paintings, that's fine. It's not a big deal - I'm retired now."
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