Simple pleasures delight

Written by April Spadina

Like most kids growing up in the countryside, Amanda Kratzmann was encouraged to explore the great outdoors.

She learnt the ability to find joy in her surroundings, to love the simple pleasure of creating her own fun and to observe the changing landscape around her. These were the values she wanted to pass on to her children, and with her husband Mark they have instilled these strong qualities in their children, Parker 12, Charlee 10 and Bradley 9, with a life on the land and a joy of creativity and discovery.

The family are part of the rich tapestry that makes up Maryborough’s creative landscape. You may recognise the faces from the many characters they play at festivals in the region, from rugged pirates to French art critics, dusty chimney sweeps to vintage steampunk personas, this trio have certainly had their share of fun and frivolity! The whole family have even been immortalised as 3D statues in the Story Bank as characters from Mary Poppins!

The values instilled in them at a young age and encouragement from Amanda and Mark to do what makes them shine, is where their sense of adventure comes from. From their participation in local creative events and festivals, they have also developed a love of their beautiful historical city they call home, and Maryborough’s heritage buildings have become the subject of many recent pieces of art by the family as they join the Urban Sketchers each month to sketch the urban landscape they know and love.

Amanda, the eternal dabbler in all things arty, relishes in the fact that her “mini-me” Charlee is her side kick each month at Urban Sketchers and has become quite the celebrity of sorts. Earlier this year Charlee’s sketch of the School of Arts was selected as Alive Magazine’s Artwork of the Month! Charlee – the proverbial apple that didn’t fall far from the tree, is quickly developing into a fine artist under the gentle guidance of her talented mum.

As they wander through the picturesque streets, the children often point out special features on buildings, that would otherwise go unnoticed. The curve of an archway, the delicate ironwork verandas, this natural ability to see the beauty in their surroundings and appreciation of where they live, is what Amanda wished for in her children. From the chalk drawings on the concrete driveway, to the gallery of artwork that hangs on their home walls, you can be certain that these children will always be encouraged and supported to strive for happiness and joy.

Appreciation of the simple pleasures in life is ingrained in their essence, it’s part of their DNA, and a reflection of the type of parenting that comes from a place of love, and to Amanda and her beautiful family, there is nothing more important.