Rendezvous With Ria ~ One in a million Ria DeWit!

After at least 23 years of being out of touch with our neighbor and artist friend Ria DeWit, my wife and I met up with her in her home in northern Virginia and went to Tuskies in Leesburg, VA for lunch! 

In one of my earlier blogs Still Lifes Solve Real Life Mystery about finding Ria on the artist roster of a prominent Leesburg gallery, I talked about her masterful still life paintings.  I also talked about how inspirational seeing her work for the first time was to me as a beginner painter. 

After all these years, we’ve been reunited.  We spent several hours getting caught up along with getting the tour of her nicely decorated home with some of her early Dutch style paintings, some of her son’s wonderful realistic paintings including a self-portrait, and some of her newest work. 

She has a sun room set up as a teaching studio where she instructs five or six students a couple of times a week. They are so fortunate to have found Ria as a teacher! She is self taught in the ways of the old Masters and a spot in her class is highly sought after!

Accomplishing all she desired with her still-lifes for the time being, she has moved on to painting elegant women with a variety of colorful headdresses in a somewhat illustrative style . 

Her work is inspiring.  It is magical to look at and is no doubt museum quality.

Whenever an admirer of her work tells her that her artistic talent is a “gift”, she cringes.  She sees it as a culmination of years of hard work and a dedication to her craft.  Well, whichever it is, there is something exceptional about Ria’s work!  She is one in a million. 

It was great to see Ria and see where her creativity is taking her.  She is having fun with her work and enjoying the process of working on something new and different.  After she gets her paintings photographed, I will post some photos of her new work as a follow up to this blog. 

Remembering Trevor ~ Following Dreams

It took me quite a while in life to figure out what I wanted to do for a living.  I wrote a blog about how I finally figured out what I wanted to be and about how important it is to follow your passion.  I feel very fortunate to be living my dream of being an artist, but dreams don’t come easy. It takes commitment and hard work.

For the last ten years, I’ve witnessed a young kid, Trevor Times, from age 8 to 18 totally committed to the game of golf.  He knew what he wanted in life from an early age and he worked hard toward becoming the best he could be at the game.  I admired the fact that he knew his dream early in life.  With his gentlemanly nature, politeness and tremendous talent, Trevor was going places.  He had already competed in the U.S. Junior Amateur.  He was about to graduate from high school and in the fall was going to East Carolina University on a golf scholarship but sadly his life was cut short this week in a swimming accident. 

I loved hitting balls next to him on the range, emulating his long swing and trying to keep up with his ever increasing distance.  I’m devastated that Trevor’s dreams were cut short.  My heart goes out to his family. 

His tragic loss is a brutal reminder of how fleeting life is and how we should all make the most out of every day.  I’ll miss seeing him go by my studio window, playing golf with his mother Virginia, but I’ll never forget him.  His level of dedication and commitment from such an early age will always be inspirational to me.