Lydia Eloff’s Blog (Late bloomer)

Late Bloomer

Right off the bat, I would like to express my gratitude to Micah Gilbert, the wonderfully kind and talented musician, for creating this space for me on his Secret Deer website.  I’m not sure if or when I would ever have gotten around to doing this myself.  Micah is an inspiration to me, and I appreciate his friendship very much.

So why “late bloomer”?  Well, I was born in 1954 and have practiced bankruptcy law full-time in Columbia, South Carolina, since 1984.  While my career has provided me with a comfortable standard of living, for which I am grateful, I have found it to be soul-crushing and unfulfilling for the most part. Off and on during my life, I have played around with art. Then, about five years ago, I mentioned to my husband, Billy (who is a talented luthier and musician), that I would like to take up drawing.  He promptly brought me an old coffee can of colored pencils that had belonged to his mother, an artist, who passed away before Billy and I started dating. I began to draw mandalas.  I liked to incorporate all kinds of imagery into the mandalas and found great peace when I was drawing and coloring them.

Billy, who is one of my biggest fans, continued to encourage me to create and to get my work “out there.” Since then, I opened an Etsy shop and began selling artwork and prints at two different galleries, one in Asheville, North Carolina, and one here in Columbia. I continue to enjoy creating mandalas as well as exploring different media and styles. I also take many online courses, and I find that most of the time, when I am in my “studio,” a/k/a spare bedroom, listening to music and creating art, nothing else seems to matter.

Recently I traded a painting for some funds and a shamanic personal counseling session with a woman who had seen the painting where I had posted it on a group page on Facebook.  The session centered around my frustration that I had to continue practicing law in order to support myself, while what I really wanted to do was full-time art.  She told me that the phrase “late bloomer” kept coming to her and even suggested that I start a blog, using that as the title.  So there you have it.

We will see where this goes.  I hope to share here my arting experience as well as some useful and interesting information. Watch this space. Meanwhile, here is what is on my easel today: