Bev Petersen

Art is my therapy. As a child growing up in the forties and fifties, a time when children were to be seen and not heard art was a way to express what I could not verbalize. It was a way to escape the family dysfunction and chaos. Although art was not the occupation I chose it remained a necessary constant in my life. The most difficult aspect was accepting myself as an artist, which I really did not do until a few years ago and after struggling with anxiety two years ago I am finally able to understand the healing power of Art.
What is your area of practice or discipline? Although, I have various responsibilities and interests and a small area in which to create, it is as necessary as fresh air and water that I nurture my soul creating art.  I always have a work in progress, that permeates my being .  There are the days that I immerse myself deeply.  Time stands still.  Hours pass until I am able to come back to the world around me and ground myself in reality, gardening, socializing, exercise, nature until the canvas beckons and I must listen.  The trick is to not lose sight of the delicate balance between both worlds.
Who Are you? What do you do? I work in acrylics on canvas using brushes and experimenting with almost anything to achieve the result that inspired me to interpret and communicate what grabbed me.
How did you get there? The magic of creation was therapy for a shy little girl,  but it would take a long and circuitous route to embrace and liberate the artist within.
Many layers had to be peeled away before I could accept and love that little girl in order to create authentically, joyfully and fearlessly.
What was your transformational experience? Diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder two years ago culminating in 24” x 36” acrylic “The Fog has Lifted”
What is your biggest success? That I can appreciate and embrace the richness, colour, texture, patterns and connectivity that has brought me to now.  After a chaotic upbringing that is the goodness, I have found hiding in the shadows.
If you could go back and do something differently, what would that be? I wouldn't change a thing.  It has all been necessary to guide me to now and I love the power of now!
 What are you working on now? 18” x 24” acrylic/wrapped canvas  “Belonging” (a female figure sitting on a bank overlooking a windy wavy ocean, distant misty shores very much connected to nature)
Who are your influences? Or who would you like to give a shoutout to? I'm inspired by the many wonderful artists in our community.  Georgia O'Keefe, Bev Doolittle are a couple of my favorites.

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