Six years ago artist Josh Windram was homeless and had lost contact with his family and friends after addiction led him down a troubled path.
He sought help and found art a therapeutic means to help him recover.
"My whole life I had been around art, having a professional artist mother, but I never had the desire to take it up," he said.
"Art was the thing that brought me back to reality."
Mr Windram kept visual diaries before he went into rehab which he found healing. When he came out of the program he needed to disconnect himself from everyone and everything around him.
"I locked myself into a studio, it was so healing," he said.
"When you have been through that you really have to keep away from everyone for a long time, it takes a hold of you so much that it's easy to fall back into the lifestyle.
"The more I painted the further away I became from my old life."
Having an artistic eye, Mr Windram dabbled in photography and was a professional framer after he left school.
"I had never put paint on canvas so it was really cool to discover that about myself," he said.
"When I applied paint to canvas certain colour combinations resonated with me, I thought it was something that I could actually do.
"I remember the first time I finished a piece and was happy with it, I had good feedback and thought I could do it as a way of life.
"I had a friend with a gallery who was happy to put my pieces up, it only took a couple of weeks and they started selling.
"That is how I became an artist, it started off as something to heal me then I started developing a style and it has rolled on from there."
Mr Windram will be joining Margaret River Region Open Studios in September where the public will have a chance to see him at work in his Vasse studio.
"It is one thing to see a painting on a pristine wall in a gallery but to see what happens, we're messy, we have music cranking and swear a lot," he said.
"We have highs and lows (and are very sensitive about our art as well).
"I try to give people that experience and give them live demos. I love the event I think it is really good for artists and it is great for the area."
Visit mrropenstudios.com.au/ for further details about the event.