Artist Vada Galvan from Farmington has been competing in the Art is Ageless competition for around six years, but this is the first time her work has been featured on the cover.
“When I walked into the room for the 2020 calendar reveal party in December, that was a big thrill! There were stacks of the calendar (and I hadn’t seen the cover yet) laying on the table and they looked gorgeous. It was an overwhelming day for this old gal,” said Vada.
“Beauty and the Fleece” is the featured cover art on the 2020 Art is Ageless calendar. While the painting was created during the summer of 2018, the idea for it was inspired by Vada’s childhood.
“When I was a little girl, we lived out in the country (in Wyoming) across the road from a couple that didn’t have any children. They mostly had a dairy farm, but they kept a small herd of sheep. They liked me. Most evenings, the woman who lived there, Irma, would tell me she was going to go gather the sheep and she asked me to go with her and help her herd them to a field closer to the house for the night. I’ve always loved sheep and I love the biblical idea of sheep. When I feel inspired to paint a sheep it usually comes from that little well that’s in all of us where the holy spirit resides,” said Vada.
While she’s painted some sheep in the past, she’s never painted anything like the sheep featured in “Beauty and the Sheep.”
“I have a book on sheep, but they’re so well-groomed in that book they were too nice looking. I wanted his wool to look dirty and yet nice, too, like a Wyoming sheep,” said Vada.
Not only does Vada’s work grace the cover of this year’s calendar, “Beauty and the Fleece” also won the judge’s choice and people’s choice awards at Farmington and her Christmas (professional) submission, “Hey, Virginia, It’s Me!” took first place in the local competition and is featured on the 2020 Art is Ageless greeting cards.
“‘Hey, Virginia, It’s Me!’ was really an afterthought. I thought I’d take a canvas and try and paint the center of a Santa face that I remember from my childhood. He didn’t take me that long. I painted him in January and hurried and got him framed and took him to the contest in February. I was shocked when he won because I did him so fast. Sometimes I work better fast than I do when I drag my heels as I usually do,” said Vada.
No matter her painting style, it seems Vada was simply born with creative talent.
“I think I was born with a box of Crayolas® in my hand. I was always very particular with my coloring books. I’ve been painting for a little bit over 40 years. One of the ladies I worked with started taking decorative painting classes and didn’t like going alone. She said, ‘Come and go with me.’ So that’s how I got started painting. Now I’ve branched out more into fine arts. I love it! I’ve never had any formal training and didn’t go to school for it. This is my God gift,” said Vada.
And we’re so pleased she’s using the Art is Ageless competition to share her gift with all of us.
“The Art is Ageless program is wonderful. It gives those of us who are older something to look forward to. We all need hobbies and someone to share a love of something with. It keeps me going,” said Vada.
Vada has been married to her husband, Ben, for 37 years and has two grown children and four grandsons. She plans to one day live at Presbyterian Manor while teaching painting classes.