I was fortunate to have been able to work as a teacher in the public school system for most of my adult life, and it wasn’t until I retired in 2008 that I decided to try painting. You never know where “doing something new for the first time” will take you, but the ride has been extraordinary. I have fallen under the spell of putting colour onto paper or canvas and, like an addict, I can’t seem to get enough. Because I still love making pottery and playing my harp, my main difficulty these days is finding enough time to spend on painting. It helped when my wonderfully supportive husband Jack, gave the OK to transform our living room into a painting studio. When my friends ask about retirement I have to admit it is the “Best of Times.”
I know that most artists focus on one medium, but I am infatuated with both water colours and acrylics. I love the challenge of trying to produce the same image in both mediums and seeing what happens. Because we have two dogs, we spend lots of time walking and I always have my camera to record things that catch my interest. Orchards, Kalamalka Lake, flowers, old trucks, clouds and vacations spots seem to be the inspiration for my most recent work, but I have just discovered life drawing and I am working on a series of paintings about musicians. What a way to justify going to as many live musical events as I can!
Last September-October we were able to spend a month staying in the seaside resort town of St. Ives in Cornwall O.K. and my next solo show will be featuring images from our walks about town and along the coastal walking paths. My favorite novelist is Rosamunde Pilcher and thanks to her descriptions of the sea and the amazing light that attracted so many artists to this area, I had to see it for myself. Walking into the artist’s studio at the St Ives’ School of Painting, and setting up my own easel for my very first life drawing class, was mind boggling! Who knew that the power of the written word could start such an adventure.
Pay attention to what gives you pleasure. Don’t be afraid to try something new. It could open up a whole universe that you had no idea existed. I can’t wait to see what the next two years will hold, but I am sure paint brushes will be part of the landscape.
Rusty Rake Studio, Coldstream, BC.