Last year, at this time, I was planning my “Coastal” art show, from MacDill AFB, in Tampa, Florida. The show took place last March and was a huge success! The paintings were inspired by the tropical beach environment of the gulf coast. It was a wonderful opportunity to gather one last time, to say goodbye to my friends in Florida, before our PCS to Korea, and to share my love of art.
I arrived in Korea this past summer with my husband, two teen daughters and our chocolate lab.
Coming to Korea in some way, for me, is full circle. I lived here in 1997 for one year and taught English, in Pyeongtaek city neighboring Camp Humphreys. I didn’t know my husband at the time and I never thought that I would ever come back to Korea, let alone, live in the same city I had lived in while teaching here in my mid-twenties.
While we were still in Florida preparing for our upcoming move, I had the mindset that it would be too difficult to bring all of my art supplies overseas and too hard to sell my paintings in Korea. I packed away a lot in storage, many paintings also stayed behind. I also left my large wood work table that has been moved year after year where many paintings have come to life; many finding new homes.
I really told myself that I would not be painting during our two year assignment.
I was so very wrong! This move has made me more aware of what I already knew about myself and the importance of my art for my well- being and my intense need to create. My art truly does keep my grounded.
Once our household goods arrived to Korea and we were somewhat organized, I began to set up my art studio, in our garage and I applied for the Home Based Business license which allowed me to sell from my home and at events on Camp Humphreys.
My inspirations come from my living environments. While in Florida I loved the tropical colors of the coastal environment, here in Korea I have been in love with the Korean temples and I would say that these are my main inspiration – currently.
Along with lotus flowers, mountains, traditional dress materials, and the many different color combinations found in the pottery and landscapes; the inspiration is plentiful.
My first art event since living on Camp Humphreys, was the United Club Holiday Bazaar, this past November. I surprisingly sold out of all my hand painted Korea temple ornaments and many paintings found new homes. It was a great way for me to get my name into the community and to share my art.
Since the bazaar I have continued to sell paintings and gain new art collectors.
My newest works are original paintings on traditional Korean temple tiles.
I find tiles in various antique shops and paint colorful abstract temple scenes on the tiles.
I plan on this being a unique keepsake for a collector to remember their time in Korea. I have already sold many tiles and have many custom orders lined up.
I have a lot of ideas for upcoming paintings, to include; spring cherry blossoms, painting on paper lanterns, and possibly painting on pottery. And of course more temples are in the works!
The possibilities are endless with all the beauty and inspiration that surrounds me.
I would also love to have an art show in a Korean art gallery or possibly in one of the many wonderful Korean coffee shops in our community.
I look forward to my next year living Korea, with plans of travel, more painting inspiration, and spending time with my family.