Barbara Bruning, a resident of Woodland Terrace, a Kisco Senior Living community, started college in her late 40s at the encouragement of her husband. She had always been creative, making cards for loved ones, wood paintings and hand painted eggs, which she could blow out with just one hole. It only seemed natural that Bruning take the opportunity to strengthen her talent.
“My husband saw some of the things I was doing with arts and crafts and encouraged me to go back to school to grow my talent,” Bruning said. “He said I was wasting it if I weren’t doing something with it.”
Now 87, Bruning will exhibit some of the fruits of her seasoned talent at Woodland Terrace’s new “Artist in Residence” program, which will be featured over the next few months as part of the monthly lady’s luncheon held at the community. This month’s luncheon will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 16 from 11:30 a.m.- 1:30 p.m. During the luncheon, Bruning will be the first artist featured to discuss and display her work. However, she is among around 15 plus professional artists who reside at Woodland Terrace.
“This has come up a few times in our brainstorms for the lady’s luncheon meetings because we have so many people here who do beautiful paintings,” said Betty Bhuta, ladies luncheon co-chairwoman. “Woodland Terrace attracts artists because it encourages our independence and exudes the peacefulness of a serene retreat. We would like to work with more of the artists in our community and intend to do this on a regular basis.”
This will not be Bruning’s first show. She became a professional artist in Alamogordo, N.M. where her works were first put online after a large showing at a local bank. Bruning sold her first painting not long after and learned that selling her work meant she was a professional. She has been painting, showing, consigning and selling her art since and has chosen watercolor as her favorite medium.
“That just opened a whole new door for me,” Bruning stated. “I chose watercolor after trying pen and ink, pastels, acrylics and everything else under the sun. I fell in love with watercolor because I liked the challenge of it. It’s not forgiving, and I really appreciated that I had to fight for what I wanted to be on the paper.”
Bruning also said she is shy and feels she can express herself better through her art.
“Watercolor is incredibly challenging, she said. “I have a passion for it because I express myself better through my creative outlets. It’s almost like I put my outward affect into my work and let it speak for me.”
Bruning has slowed down her painting the past few years, but this showing has inspired her to bring out her paint brushes, canvasses and ink pens.
“They are all sitting on my dining room table waiting for me to get busy,” she concluded.