A Force of Nature by HEATHER L. BECKER
Beverly Austin of Both the Placerville Arts Association and the El Dorado Arts Council
02/22/2017 02:42PM, Published by Heather Becker
A member of both the Placerville Arts Association and the El Dorado Arts Council, Beverly Austin has been painting award-winning, portraits, still life and traditional landscapes for over 10 years, and more ethereal landscapes for the past five. Exploring both the spiritual and physical realms of the world she sees, Austin says, “I feel that we’re all connected to the universe through nature and light.” Displaying her work at the Gold Country Artists’ Gallery, in addition to various local art events, Austin loves the inspiration she gets from meeting new people and seeing their reactions to her art. “I’d like for people to look at my work and be inspired to find a piece of their own sense of wonder to share with others. Nature has a timelessness that reflects the past, present and future.”
HLB: You said you had visions of painting in the woods while growing up in Southern California. How DId that transpire?
BA: As a young girl, my family visited relatives in the Rocky Mountains several times, and I was forever altered [by] those trips. Experiencing the sereneness of nature, I began dreaming of one day living closer to this sensation. Growing up in the San Fernando Valley, I had a few meaningful experiences when people found my artwork special, but I didn’t have the confidence to pursue it. Still, I held on to my secret vision of painting in the peace of the mountains. This wouldn’t come to be until many years later.
HLB: When you relocated, how DId you begin pursuing your passion?
BA: About 10 years ago, after my dad passed, I was driving down the dirt road to our home one night and heard his voice telling me I should follow my dream of painting in the mountains. [Not long after], I signed up for a painting class at the local college, which led to many classes from a variety of artists. From then on, art opened a whole new world to me and provided an opportunity to meet many inspirational and talented people who helped me to believe in myself as an artist.
HLB: How do you interpret landscapes in your work?
BA: I believe there’s so much more to nature than we see with the naked eye. I’m always trying to capture the awe that inspired me to paint a particular subject. When I paint, I also try and listen to music that takes me to another place. What I want to achieve is an ethereal feeling about a familiar place.
HLB: Do you have any favorite local spots for inspiration?
BA: I love having nature outside my front door and taking walks on our dirt road as I visualize what this land was like many years ago. We’re so fortunate to live in one of the most beautiful places—we have lakes, rivers, mountains and beautiful skies. I love Lake Tahoe, the Sierra Nevada, Yosemite, the redwoods, and the rolling foothills.
HLB: What’s in store for the future?
BA: I want to continue painting landscapes, incorporating more local scenes and adding ethereal sensations. I was fortunate enough to visit the Swiss Alps last year and found myself in awe of the majesty of the mountains, and the serenity of the small villages. I certainly plan on utilizing some of that inspiration and enthusiasm in my future paintings.
Article by Heather L. Becker // Artist photo by Dante Fontana © Style Media Group // Artwork photos courtesy of Beverly Austin