Meet Gaye Leanne from Heartworx in Port Macquarie

We’d love for you to meet Gaye Leanne, an award-winning local artist and founder of heARTworx in Port Macquarie. Recently we caught up with Gaye to ask her a few questions about Port Macquarie life and her local business.

Hi Gaye 👋 You moved to the Greater Port Macquarie a few years back, what made you make that decision?

I moved to Port Macquarie in January 2021.

I visited Port in 2015 for the first time in 30 years with my children for Easter and literally fell in love with it. Really wanted to move at that time, but wasn’t possible.

Always knew I would end up here!

Meet Gaye Leanne

📸 Gaye Leanne

What is it about Greater Port Macquarie that your family loves most?

We love the laid-back lifestyle, community connectedness and overall friendliness of the people, of Port Macquarie, not to mention the close access to all the beaches. It’s like being on holiday every day.

What is your family’s favourite place to go exploring in Greater Port Macquarie?

We regularly enjoy the coastal walk and Breakwall almost daily, and we frequent many of the amazing cafes and restaurants in the area. During summer you will nearly always find us at the beach. We also love taking a drive to neighbouring North Brother Mountain, North Haven or Lake Cathie. I’m always looking for art inspiration.

What is your ideal family staycation in Greater Port Macquarie?

We love special event weekends like Artwalk, markets, picnicking in Mrs York’s garden and of course the beach at any time of year. Plus eating. A meal or coffee at Little Shack always makes us feel like we’re on an island vacation.

Which beach in Greater Port Macquarie is your family’s favourite?

We really love Town Beach, but often do visits to Flynns and Lighthouse beaches too.

Town Beach by Gaye Leanne

📸 Town Beach by Gaye Leanne

Which park or playground do your kids love to visit the most in Greater Port Macquarie?

My children have grown past visiting playgrounds now as my youngest is 14, but we always loved visiting the Breakwall playground.

Where is your favourite place to eat out with kids in Greater Port Macquarie?

We definitely love Little Shack during the warm weather. During the cool weather, we like Chop n Chill or Bandwagon and I’m a daily regular at Bittersweet.

Are you able to give us The Inside Scoop on your local business and how you got started?

In 2014 after being strictly a hobby artist for my whole life, I found the courage to work on my art production more seriously entering art shows etc part-time while working a casual retail job on the Central Coast.

In 2015 I was offered a position at the local neighbourhood centre running children’s after-school art workshops. This became increasingly popular expanding into school holiday workshops.

In 2018 after my marriage break-up, HeARTworX was born; my own home-based art school that I ran as well as my work at the neighbourhood centre, up until moving to Port Macquarie.

In August 2021 I secured a shop/studio space where I was able to combine my full-time work as an artist as well as continuing to run the children’s art workshops. This year I also added a space to sell my favourite art supplies.

What do you love most about what you do?

Where to start?! I feel really blessed to be able to earn a living from doing something that never feels like work to me.

Being able to paint and draw all day and indulge in creative expression is my idea of heaven.

I have also always loved children and being around children even since I was a child myself.

Meet Gaye Leanne

📸 Gaye with two of her students

Being able to encourage and foster creativity in the students who come to my art classes makes me feel happiest of all. I love watching them grow in creative skills as well as confidence. They never cease to amaze me.

What are your tips for balancing work, life, family and hobbies?

I don’t worry about anything! Wearing a dozen hats isn’t easy, but I don’t push myself. I get done what I need to when I can. I’m lucky my children, while still living at home, are also old enough to help me out and they do. I also have a lovely network of close friends here that are supportive.

For people wanting to know more about your work or connect with you online, where can they find you?

The best place to find me is on Facebook (@GayeLeanneH or @heartworxart) or Instagram (@gaye_leanne or @heartworx_art). I also have a website (gayeleanne.com), with a new e-commerce site under construction where people will soon be able to purchase everything from artwork to booking workshops online.

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Thank you for your time Gaye, we’ve enjoyed getting to know you more and gaining your unique insight into Port Macquarie life.

Learn more about heARTworx and heARTworX School Holiday Workshops.

Creative Kids

Engage in the fantastic creative kids workshops and activities available on the Mid North Coast.

Creative Kids Guide for Families