Bob Maas’ art has been adorning the walls of the Recovered Futures Art Exhibition for over 20 years, making him one of our longest-standing exhibitors. Always a popular artist, Bob’s nature-inspired paintings have found their way into many Queensland homes and businesses.
“I started creating art when I was 17, over the Christmas holidays. I’m 56 now, so it’s been a while! In 1986, I spent three years at Queensland College of Art in Brisbane and last year, I attended an evening art school in Maroochydore where the art teachers helped me compose more saleable art.”
Art has been a constant companion for Bob, helping him manage the mental illness which has created waves of terror over the years.
“When I was 21 I began hearing voices and went into the Nambour hospital, where I was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. It was a horrible, frightening experience. Getting on the right medication took ages, but it was a breakthrough when we found the right one. I’ve been on that medication for 20 years now and I’m very grateful for it.”
Bob says he tries to keep stress to a minimum, preferring to lead a quiet life with plenty of painting. Managing his mental illness is not always easy, but he keeps busy by walking, going to the gym, swimming and playing golf.
“It has its moments, it can be tough. But I have therapists and support workers that have been very good to me over the years. One of my support workers helped me to put my artwork on Instagram. I paint pretty often now and sell my art more frequently. I recently sold two seascapes and the guy came back to buy a third!”
|"Blossom Time" by Bob Maas on display at the 2021 Recovered Futures Art Exhibition.|
Bob says it’s important to remember that people with mental illness are trying their best and they desire to lead a good life, just like everyone else.
“Basically, it’s just a label. I have schizophrenia, but I’m just trying to keep up with living a good life and having good thoughts. There are people with mental illness and people without it - everyone’s running the same race. Everyone’s trying to live their life.”