Fifteen years ago, Carole Baldwin was recently widowed and talking to her friend Shirley Jones when Jones told her to take painting lessons and join the Beach Guild of Fine Art.
“I did both of those things,” said Baldwin a few weeks ahead of the Guild’s annual Small Paintings for Small Spaces show.
Though she hadn’t done more than collect art since shortly after her high school days, Baldwin found she took an immediate shine to oil painting, which she continues to study at the city’s Cedar Ridge Creative Centre with instructor Jay Dampf.
She found that associating with other artists was also a boon to her creativity. The group she studies with at Cedar Ridge has changed little over the past 15 years, and Baldwin said being part of the Guild has helped her more locally as well.
“You associate with people who have like-minded interests in art, you learn from them, and it’s a social group,” she said.
Taking part in the Guild’s sales is also a great way to both build and inspire confidence.
“Right from the start I took part,” said Baldwin.
“It’s a hobby, but if you sell it’s a bonus.”
Baldwin works mainly from photographs, some of her own taking, and others found in magazines and books. Her somewhat impressionistic work is usually either scenes with people, or streetscapes of buildings.
“I like my paintings to tell a story,” she said. “If a photo tells me a story, then I want to portray that.”
Small Paintings for Small Spaces will feature several of Baldwin’s pieces along with many more from about 40 Beach Guild of Fine Arts members.
The show takes place at the Gardener’s Cottage in Kew Gardens from 3 to 8 p.m. on Friday, May 22, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 23, and Sunday, May 24.