It took more than four decades for Phillip Haynes, 51, to find his inspiration. The local painter has his first exhibition of work hanging at Full of Beans coffee shop on Smith Road.
“I was probably about 6,” said the native Jamaican, “when I asked my mom to send me to art school.”
He loved to draw, he said, but his single mother couldn’t afford art lessons.
“I dabbled in it over the years,” said Haynes, who came to the Cayman Islands 19 years ago.
He’s worked for many years as a social worker, helping at-risk youth at the Bonaventure Boys Home find employment. He did a little bit of artwork here and there.
In 2016, he found his muse.
“I went to Cuba and saw the craft market,” he said. “I came back with the bug and started doing my stuff.”
Haynes said he was impressed by how much the Cuban people were doing with so little, in terms of materials. If they could be creative with so few resources, he thought, what was his excuse for not doing more work?
Now that he has his first exhibit, he’s hoping it will open more opportunities.
“My wish is to be in a position to retire and put my creativity on canvas.”
Full of Beans, in Pasadora Place, is open 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The exhibit runs through the end of May.