Perhaps one of the greatest joys I experience most mornings is getting up before everyone else, sitting with a cup of coffee and my kitty Gracie purring in my lap. I sit in wonder, gazing from my patio or looking out my window at the splendor of nature that surrounds me. I’ve most recently taken great satisfaction in two flower beds I have planted at our new house in the country. Their color, my pastoral yard, and mountain view inspire my artistic desire to imitate the beauty they behold. Though I can never replicate the evidence the scenes are for the talented Creator that is, I can certainly give witness to their majesty and His love that he gives through them. Thus when asked to contribute to creating a view of “garden” for Shelter Alternatives, it was a great pleasure and honor to simply do something I love. I should add, that for my part of this project, I did not use a photo of my own taking for reference and inspiration, but a photo taken by an artist friend - Jean Poff Galloway. She will often post on her social media a photo “From the Patio” and I was captivated by this photo of her garden. The bright light streaming through the ornamental red maple was the best! I am happy with the result, BUT no one can really capture that feeling we get from those magical moments, in the mornings with our coffee on our patio. Maybe, just maybe though, a touch of that experience will add to the pleasure and appreciation of those doing business with or working for Shelter Alternatives. Thank you Jean for sharing your eye for nature and sharing it with others. Thank you Ed Tuchler and Nikki Pynn for offering me this opportunity. Thank you Shelter Alternatives for allowing me to play on your walls and in your building and especially for blocking your path to the kitchen. I had great FUN!
Ava began her artistic endeavors with a beginning drawing class her senior year in high school. After mimicking a pair of leather boots with uncanny detail and shadows, her teacher encouraged her to pursue more classes in college. She graduated from Virginia Tech with degrees in Urban Affairs and Art and has worked professionally since as both a transportation planner and graphic artist, taking advantage of her training in both areas. Throughout the years she has also worked on numerous private commissions as well as participated in various local and regional shows. However, she has yearned most to pursue her own personal creations. Currently, Ava focuses her creative efforts on acrylic paintings with a range of abstract and impressionistic renderings of a variety of subject matter. Since “retiring” from raising children and her second career of personal training, Ava hopes to more intimately pursue the passion she has always had to “create with a mustard seed of imagination” on loan from the ultimate Creator.
If not drinking coffee on her patio, painting a mural, or bicycling, Ava can often be found enjoying a beer at a local pub or brewery. Philosophical discussions are a sure thing if she has more than one beer.