I grew-up in Bedford, a small town located in the western part of Virginia in the foothills of the Blue Ridge. I moved to Richmond after graduate school and immediately noticed that it was so flat! But I love Richmond too.
My father will never forgive me if I don’t use this opportunity to say that my family has lived in Virginia since 1611; I’m a Virginian through and through!
My parents always encouraged my brother and me in artistic and cultural pursuits. They took us to the theater, museums and concerts, enrolled us in music and art lessons, and took us on trips–some international before that was a common thing to do. My grandfather was an artist and everyone on my mother’s side is artistically inclined either in music or the visual arts.
My parents and brother still live in Bedford, though my parents bought a condo in Richmond–just down the street on Grove–so they can visit my children as much as they like!
Well, I’ve created “art” for as long as I can remember. As a child, I primarily sketched, and of course colored. I would create fashion “books” and design homes where I would sketch out each room and then tape all the pages together to make a house. We had this great art teacher who moved to Bedford, Mr. Ruzak, who taught lessons in the summer at his home–which was actually a sort-of tree-house. It was really cool! There was a glassed-in porch situated in the trees where he’d set-up his art “camp.” He exposed us to a variety of mediums through hands-on experience: clay, stained glass, charcoal, paint, etc. He taught us things like linear perspective. He was a bit of a Bohemian–so different than my family–which fascinated me! As a teenager, I spent a lot of time drawing portraits and figures.
I did some painting, but only in the last few years took-it-up again. I started to really focus on painting about a year and a half ago as a creative outlet.
Art has always been a big part of my life. In fact, I spent most of my childhood thinking I would study art in college, but chose History instead! In my 20s and early 30s, I worked in many non-profit jobs, but they never fulfilled my desire to “create.” To satiate this need, I became a very competent cook, and I’ve tried about every DIY project out there! But painting seems to have hit the nail on the head. I love the fact that this is something I can do for the rest of my life.
It truly is a release–a creative outlet–and it has taken many years for me to realize that it is the outlet that I need in order to be happy.
One weekend about a year and a half ago when I had just taken-up painting again, my husband was out-of-town and the children were asleep, and I decided to embark upon a rather large and ambitious painting. I drank wine, listened to music and painted for hours. I generally like to go to bed early, but was so wrapped-up in what I was doing that I stayed up late into the night. Now that I say it, I guess that was a pivotal moment for me. I woke-up the next morning thinking: Painting truly makes me happy. I want to keep doing this!