“If I create from the heart, nearly everything works. If I create from the head, almost nothing does.”      ~Marc Chagall

Welcome!  I am Grace VanAkin, a former elementary school teacher who decided this past year to say yes to doing what I love.  Which is painting.  And collaging.  And spreading a little joy.

I have taken courses with incredibly generous and talented artists such as Kelly Rae Roberts and Flora Bowley and have made painting a priority in my life, realizing that it is much more fun to do than laundry, house cleaning and just thinking about the ‘I should haves’ in my life.   You know…I should’ve majored in art.  I should’ve taken the time to paint.  I should’ve believed in myself.

Five years ago, when a second bout of cancer led to my decision to retire from teaching, I finally decided to follow the advice I used to give to my daughters, which was to ‘sh*t or get off the pot’. 

It was time to do what I love because…well…if not now, then when?  If cancer taught me one thing it is that there is no time like the present to pursue your passion.

Since then I’ve experienced the pleasure that comes with seeing my work embraced by others.  To know that something I’ve created has made someone happy is a wonderful feeling.  It just lights me up and affirms that I am on the right path. 

Why do I love to paint?

I love it because it is a way to bring joy into the world.  It is a way to spread happiness and beauty, one brush stroke at a time.  It is my way of expressing gratitude for all the goodness in my life.   Painting requires me to step outside of my comfort zone and to push boundaries.  I am learning that there are no mistakes when I paint, only lessons to be learned and avenues to be explored. When I paint from the heart, everything makes sense.

A short but sweet bio:

I live in Connecticut with my high school sweetheart and a mischievous Yorkie named Popeye.  I am the mother to three accomplished daughters who light up my life.  I love chocolate, pasta, singing (hello, fellow Sweet Adelines!), and reading and still dream of being in a Broadway musical someday (if only I could dance)...

Thank you so much for stopping by and visiting.  May your time here bring a smile to your face.