How did you get started and then develop your career?
Aida Garrity: I discovered my passion for painting at age five through children’s art classes at the Museo de Bellas Artes in Caracas, Venezuela. I earned a Bachelor of Science in Metallurgical Engineering from the Imperial College, London and worked for over 30 years in engineering. I returned to my artwork in 2006 when I decided to obtained an MFA from San Francisco Academy of Art University and graduated in 2010.
Over the years, I have taken workshops with artists I admired and attended several conventions, participated in painting trips with plein air organizations and friend artists. I have to admit that what really helped me grow the most as an artist has been to paint from life and on location. The experience has provided me the gift of learning how to look at my subject and how to create the freshness that is needed in the final piece of art.
How do you describe success?
For me success has come in different ways. I feel that I have been successful on working hard to improve my art over the years. This has been validated by the acceptance of my art into national shows and by my collectors’ acquisition of my paintings for them to enjoy in their homes with family and friends. It gives me a great joy to see their faces of joy and admiration when they receive the paintings.
How do you find inspiration?
I find my inspiration in the wonders of life and beauty, capturing individual personalities, moods and emotions. For example, in these paintings of golf-inspired landscapes and scenes from my residences in Ohio and Florida, I undertook the challenge of crafting a composition that evokes emotion and transmits a story to the viewer. I also cultivate my creativity by painting plein air with friends in different areas of the country and by travelling internationally with different groups of artists.
What is the best thing about being an artist?
The best thing about being an artist is to be able to see in detail the beauty of the world around us. We are very fortunate to be able to elevate our souls to that level of sensitivity that is so difficult to explain in simple words.
Robert Henri describes it as follows: “When the artist is alive in any person, whatever his kind of work may be, he becomes an inventive, searching, daring, self-expressing creature. He becomes interesting to other people. He disturbs, upsets, enlightens, and he opens ways for a better understanding. Where those who are not artists are trying to close the book, he opens it, shows there are still more pages possible.”
Who do you collect?
My goal is to collect work from the artists that I most admire. My current collection consists of paintings by Judith Carducci, Daniel Gerhartz, Daniel Keys, Scott Burdick, Susan Lyon, Michael Shane Neal, Casey Baugh, Don Demers, Kim Moore, Jeanne McKinney, and Christopher Leeper.
To see more of Aida’s work, visit: www.aidabgarrity.com