Stepping into the Albany Art Cafe in Lockyer, you’re instantly drawn to the artwork displayed on the shelves and the wall. The art cafe is the culmination of Carol Hope’s background in hospitality and artistic ability. Originally from Kalgoorlie, Hope moved to Albany as a teenager with her family and fell in love with the dramatic coastline and ocean views, vastly different from the red desert she was familiar with. “I’m very inspired by the beach and the coastline, I’ve got a million photos on my phone,” she said. “Every time I go near a beach, I come back with 100 photos of waves and bits of washed-up rocks and all sorts of things like that. “I was born in Kalgoorlie, so a completely opposite place to Albany which is probably why I love the ocean so much. “I didn’t grow up around it and so it just became this amazing thing when I came out of the desert, and I’ve been here for most of my life now.” It will be her second year participating in the Southern Art and Craft Trail after closely following it in previous years. “I’ve been following it for years and going around and visiting all the other artists and their venues, but this is my second time participating,” she said. Hope tries to capture the beauty of the environment around her, often taking many photos to use as a reference for her creations later on. “I like to just try painting still life of things around me,” she said. “I like to use a lot of beads and things, but I do a bit of resin work in jewellery as well and a bit of sterling silver.” “I’ve dabbled with a bit of soldering in there as well, but mostly putting things together.” Hope has taught art workshops and classes at the back of the centre building where her cafe is located, for the past five years, and features in city festivals like the Maritime Festival and Christmas Festival. “I was teaching classes out there and one day I was leaving the centre and saw that the cafe was available and had lots of natural light coming in there,” she said. “And I thought ‘oh, that could work really well’. “It was always the thing I did on the side while I worked in hospitality, and then I kind of switched it around about five years ago and did art. “Now I’m doing both running an Art Cafe.” Hope pre-plans her resin creations because of the small time limit available before it begins to set, down to the colours she’ll use and the pattern she pours. “You have to have a pretty good idea in your head of what you’re going to do because you’re on a time limit with resin,” she said. “It will start to cure, depending on the room temperature and humidity, but generally anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes you’ve got to lay it all down and work it out. “So I’m pretty good with colours, I know what I like and I know what goes well together. “And things I go along with, I generally have a good plan ahead of what I’m doing and I’ve drawn a lot of pictures of it and written everything out before I make the project.” “It’s all pre-planned.” Experienced enough to avoid her own mishaps, Hope sometimes sees resin-pouring blunders with her classes. “Occasionally in classes, I teach people sometimes struggle with the whole time limit thing, and I have to keep telling them that ‘it’s going to start curing soon, you’ve got to move faster to get your project finished’,” she said. “I personally find it a very easy medium to work with, but not everybody does.” Although seemingly mastered the art of pouring to a strict time limit, Hope struggles to wrap her head around pastels despite trying several times to grasp the medium. “I have oil pastels and soft pastels at home and every now and then I’d pull them out and give them another go, and then go nope and put them back away,” she said. “So not good with those. “I don’t think I’ve found anything else that I’ve struggled with, I sort of see a medium and go ‘Oh I need to learn everything about that and research everything I can find out about it and then play with it’.