Tuesday, September 2, 2008

GloW Art

(Art posted is by Gloria Whitley)
Gloria met the dashing naval officer John Whitley while working as a singer in Hawaii. Over the years, the long-married Whitleys lived like many military families- on the move. Change of orders led Gloria and the children to relocate to Seattle, Hawaii and Virginia.
There were long months
when John was deployed shipboard. During those months, Gloria worked full time at a variety of jobs and kept the "homeship" ship-shape for his return. When John was "at home"- he went to work every day, just like other Americans. Unlike most of us- every 5-7 days he would be assigned shipboard for a 24 hour shift.

When she and John arrived in Virginia, she was ready for a turn back to living a more creative life. In all her endeavors, John has been supportive. " He does the majority of the housework and upkeep as long as I cook him good meals."

In Spotsylvania, she and John purchased a new house on 3 beautiful wooded acres. They added 2 small barns and a kitchen garden. Gloria relates, "One of the barns was my art barn and I loved it! I also blazed a neat trail out into our woods where we graveled a clearing at the base of a huge Tulip Poplar tree, added a crude bench and buried one of my dogs and my father's ashes there. It became my little special memory garden with all its natural ferns, plants, bushes and trees around it. There was even a tiny brook which we built a little bridge over. My mom just loved it and walked out there very often while living with us. We had some plain Quaker folks come to bless that little garden when we buried Dad there."
While sight-seeing
during a visit from sister, Edda Gahm and their mother, Hilma Jerzykowski, the trio discovered a little art gallery in historic Fredricksburg. At this point Gloria had not done much art work since college, but she she rented a wall, hung the old pictures and went to painting seriously.
As her artwork sold, the owner of the gallery encouraged Gloria to experiment with her favorite media- pastels. Gloria bought an inexpensive set, and began re-working watercolors she wasn't happy with. So began her affair with pastels.
Gloria loves the feel that working with pastels has- of painting with fingertips. She has found soft pastels to be one of the best methods to recreate the feeling of clouds. Pastel pencils then allow for the very intricate detailing her creative works require.
Gloria became known for her art teaching skills, instructing both through Spotsylvania Parks and Recreation and privately in her home. She found a special bond with the ADHD students, whom she found to be sensitive to their surroundings and filled with creativity.
After serving twenty-seven years in the US Navy, John went to work in the private sector, leading the couple to move yet again. First to Maryland, where they built two more houses, and now back to the Washington State.
This weekend, September 7th-9 th, Gloria Whitley's pastels will be featured at the Mukilteo Lighthouse Festival. While known on the east coast, this is Gloria's first exhibition on the west coast.
For more information about Gloria Whitley's art:


2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Gee, Lydia, you did a GREAT job and I just want to thank you for the featuring and promotion of my artwork with your blog. It's both flattering and fun reading. I enjoy your blog and your love affair with the beauty of this earth. I'm working on a goldfinch on an apple blossom branch currently. And then I plan an abstract experiment. Til later---GloW

Lydia said...

Thank you for allowing me to share!
It is my pleasure to profile the wonderful people such as yourself. The talent, creation, enthusiasm and talent of people I come in contact with.
Please keep in touch.