My journey as an artist began at a young age within a creative family. At home, I was most often found drawing, tracing, coloring, or painting. Visits to art museums and enrollment in art classes were opportunities my parents provided.
A formative moment in my childhood was the evening I attended an artist's opening reception with my parents and grandparents. As I admired the artwork and watched the artist smile and greet his guests, I was suddenly in touch with a real possibility – I wanted to do this when I grew up. Soon after, I would stand and declare in front of 200 people at a grade school ceremony that I would become an artist! It did not bother me that there seemed to be so few women artists at the time and it didn't bother my parents, either. They encouraged me.
Through high school, I pursued painting and drawing with a vengeance, and took college level courses on the weekends at Massachusetts College of Art and Art Institute of Boston. I took commissions from local clients and sold my artwork to save for college. Art school couldn't come soon enough for me. Once there, a rigorous (and often painful!) academic training in fine arts equipped me for where I would settle in Boston. After graduation, I worked as a freelance illustrator and as an apprentice decorative painter to the interior design trade, making murals and artistic finishes in high-end residences. Later I found satisfaction in pursuing artistic goals through my own studio work and teaching at-risk youth in art programs in the community. Along with several features in press media, including a spot on the Boston TV news magazine Chronicle, I enjoyed very gratifying projects and partnerships. Yet there was something missing.
Through a period of retreat and reflection, I rediscovered and returned to painting on canvas, my first love. I nurtured my own ‘voice’ and expression as a painter. As I hit my stride, I developed more deeply as an artist and as a person on a spiritual path. This journey with art has taken me on many adventures: meeting interesting people, traveling to beautiful locations to paint and show, learning from teachers, and seeing masterworks in some of the world's best museums. Best of all is the act of painting in and of itself. Each painting teaches me more and challenges me to reach higher in my artistic goals.
Currently I am working on a series that explores shorelines in different seasons and locations along the East Coast of the US. I love to meet people and to share what I do with others.
Image: You Will Find Me in the Wilderness © Deidre Tao