Self-isolating can be challenging for some, but not for Malcolm Trompf as he's busy with his love of art.
The 77-year-old is opening up his easel for people to email their photographs of beloved pets, children, grandchildren and family members to be created into a cherished piece of art.
"It's just something I love doing," he said.
"How long have I been drawing for? How long is a piece of string?
"My father was in a quartet and to keep me quiet while he was entertaining and my parents gave me a set of pencils and I would sketch people around me.
"It's something I've always done."
He had a 50 year career in building design before retiring in 2011. Mr Trompf spent many days sketching an array of landscapes and buildings and is a life member of the Building Designers Association.
Along with his wife Helen, he moved to Lyndoch Living's independent apartments in 2018 and has created a huge volume of work.
"It was really a natural progression for me to go from pen and ink to pencil and then paint brush," Mr Trompf said.
Mr Trompf first sketched the Point Lonsdale lighthouse in 1975 which re-sparked his life-long interest for drawing.
"The Point Lonsdale lighthouse was the first attempt at sharing my work," he said.
"As I sat on the beach with my pen and ink I did not expect that my work would become a commercial venture
"I've drawn a lot of buildings since 1975."
After being persuaded to sell the sketch, about 3000 prints were sold and Malcolm received an award for the work.
Mr Trompf then took his rapidograph pen down the road to Queenscliff.
"When you put this pen on the paper you've committed to that line as none can be erased," he said.
"I sat and sketched Ozone Hotel in Queenscliff and after a while I realised I'd never done this before and I better obtain permission.
"The first person came across happened to be the owner. When I showed him my work he didn't say much but took me into his room, open his safe and said 'how much do you want for the piece?'
"I was stunned and needless to say, greatly encouraged."
Mr Trompf's first major commission came in the early 1990s after the Building Designers Association asked him to sketched the older fleet buildings in Melbourne as a present for the Minister for Planning Rob Maclennan.
After receiving the present, Mr Maclennan told Mr Trompf that he had a project for him.
Six months of silence followed before Mr Trompf was commissioned to sketch 12 historic buildings in Collins Street for a calendar to be distributed to public servants.
"The commission was handled by riding my motorbike, with a fold up chair on the back, into the city at weekends in order to park at the work sites," he said.
"I had authority to go anywhere and so I would set myself up on the footpath or the steps of Parliament House, for example."
Mr Trompf has sketched and painted his way across Victoria and dreams of covering the rest of Australia once the pandemic passes.
"On one occasion, I was in my car, sketching a lovely heritage home when a car pulled up right in my way," he said.
"Two blokes got out and came over to me and I realise they were coppers.
"They asked me what I was doing but fortunately there was enough work done to show them.
"The policeman laughed and said 'good job, we thought you were casing the place'."
Mr Trompf transitioned from sketching to painting when he and Helen began caravanning to Port Fairy from their home in Melbourne in 2007.
His first painting was of the Moyne River which he sold to the Port Fairy Rotary Club.
There are now many sketches and paintings of the Port Fairy area including a painting of the light house.
Since then, Mr Trompf has been painting seascapes, landscapes and animals, particularly pets.
There is a six foot by four foot enlarged print on canvas The Trompf's dog, Meisje, hanging in their living room.
Mr Trompf's talent is extraordinary, especially considering he has lost sight in his left eye. He is also hard of hearing but even so, everything works together.
"I have changed from pen and ink to pencil and paint mediums as a result of the wheels falling off with the ravages of age," he said.
"You would not believe the ridiculous things that happen when I'm sitting there sketching. I have even had people say 'did you do that?' when I'm right there in front of them.
Mr Trompf is happy to have requests with photographs of pets, children or cherished belongings emailed to him while in isolation. Some have even requested a painting of a past pet.
All he requires are quality photographs emailed with details to firstname.lastname@example.org
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