Our residents at Juniper Village at Brookline are colorful people with a kaleidoscope of life experience to share. One of our newest friends, Ms. Edith Arbaugh, is a perfect and vibrant example of exactly that!
Prior to finding her newest home, Edith built a life in Charlottesville, VA as a professional painter and fine art instructor. Watercolor is her medium of choice; she reasons that it is the most health-conscious and environmentally friendly option. Her grandmother encouraged her to create with watercolors from a young age, starting Edith with paint-by-number kits at her kitchen table. How accomplished she has become! Her paintings have been displayed in galleries and art shows in the Charlottesville, VA area, where she was a member of the McGuffey Arts Center and co-founder of the Central Virginia Watercolor Guild.
Among Edith’s signatures is a series of paintings that she refers to as the “cups.” To create this series, she strategically placed silver cups on the pages of art books, then studied the reflections. She painted the images as they were reflected, as well as the visible pages, for context. It’s rich and layered, for such a seemingly simple concept. Her Leonardo Da Vinci-inspired Cups painting is striking and immediately familiar.
She managed to find inspiration in otherwise ordinary items and in things that were special to the people closest to her. For example, she painted a former student, Christy, in oversized, vintage clothing that she loved so much. Even though it isn’t painted in Edith’s signature style, Christy holds a place of pride on her wall.
Similarly, Edith’s husband chose a favorite, colorful shirt for her to paint. She did so, portraying it as hanging on a golf club, with bottles of olive oil and vinegar on the table in front of it. She did the same with a kimono that belonged to a friend, adding pears in the foreground, because that friend always painted pears. These seemingly mundane items became a visual connection to the people who had the greatest impact on her life.
These days, some of Edith’s favorite pieces grace the walls of her new home at Juniper Village at Brookline. A cozy nook in her living room is set up as a mini studio, allowing her to paint as the mood – and the light – strikes her, making her space truly home.
At Juniper Communities, our remarkable residents constantly remind us that there is – in each of us – an opportunity to turn a hobby into a passion; where there is passion, life continues to be rich with possibility.
For more stories about Juniper Village at Brookline residents, visit our Third Act blog.