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Edge of the Garden Studio

Bonnie Lee Thorpe

My 66 years have taken me in so many directions and at my heart was always my family. Art and gardening were my forms of expression; painting and planting, what I love to see. Because Art was never seen as a “career", at least not when I grew up; I became a registered nurse. I always worked part-time in order to raise my children. I did this until 3 years ago. It was not until I was 40, that I finally went to college to take Visual Arts, after which I taught in the Visual Arts programme part-time until the programme was cancelled. Prior to that time, I was a self-taught Artist and am thankful for having had that process.

I was involved with a local Artisans Co-Op called Visions, that was here in the Sault for many years showing and selling my oil paintings and attended many different shows in the district. I have moved around and continued my Art in other communities and then life took me away from Art for many years, 10 to be exact. There was not a day went by, that I did not think about painting and expressing myself. There was little I could look at and not think, how it might be expressed through art. Art never stopped expressing itself in my mind.

Finally, a little over a year ago at a time of much stress and needing to take time to care about myself, I created a studio in my house, registered a name for the studio and started painting. I thought I would work the cobwebs out by just using acrylics and starting with a form of expressive painting, some call it Painting from the Source or Intuitive painting. I had never worked much with acrylics, because I loved the qualities of oils, but acrylics were immediate results for warming up my rusty techniques. I was a landscape Artist, so I thought I would find my way back there at some point, but I have not quite got there yet and may not. The end results of each painting is and was a complete surprise to me and anyone who has seen my painting history. Each and every painting cannot be completely seen online unless small areas are enlarged. I do not plan my paintings, they tell me what needs to be revealed, they speak to me in a way. And  they speak to the viewer revealing different stories to each one.

I have decided I would like to finally make Art, my painting; a career at this time. Many of us at this age tend to be technologically challenged and struggle to put ourselves out in the world safely. I find people assume we have security and economics all wrapped up in a pretty package by the time we reach this age, but many do not have pensions, many have been divorced or widowed and many are disabled or suffer from illnesses and simply just fall between the cracks of society. So, they too need opportunities and avenues available to attempt to try and recreate their lives and become independent. They have so many stories, wisdom and talents to share with the world and these paintings are mine.

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