WellesleyWeston Magazine

FALL 2014

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: http://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/359840

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Page 177 of 219

ity: the Wellesley mother of six children, ages six though nineteen, has worked in real estate, run her own party-planning business, served as PTO president, and finds catering a meal for 250 people fun. Painting wasn't anything she expected to try. When a new acquain- tance invited her to her studio for an open painting session, she accepted. On a freezing night in February, she grabbed a photograph of a pillow, the nearest thing she could find for inspiration, and drove to Sutton, Massachusetts. "It was the last thing I wanted to do, but I forced myself," she says. "I felt compelled to go." Her first creation was a small, square abstract work that vibrates with color. Blake appreci- ated the opportunity to work with an artist and gain a friendship, but, she says, "I did not enjoy painting at all." Three months later, she ventured out again to the studio, this time attempting a rendering of her former house on Mellon Road. The result was one she liked, although now she finds its simplicity quaint. Blake says she first felt like an artist after she recreated another painter's work for a friend. She had attempted to obtain a print of the work, but when that effort failed, she decided to try painting it herself. Telling the story, she laughs that she had the audacity to strive for such a goal. Yet, the effort led to an epiphany. "It came so easily," she says. "Being able to create something so beautiful became a springboard for me. I realized if I could paint that, I could paint other things. It just became my passion." That fearlessness and devotion to her new craft allowed Blake to create 100 paintings in 2012. She also won accolades, earning second prize in the first juried show she entered, for a painting titled Light in the Grove. Blake paints 40 hours a week, mostly while her children are at school or asleep. Life has changed a bit for the Blakes: her husband does the grocery shopping; her children, even her eight-year-old, can handle their own laundry. "Initially, I would rather paint than sleep," she says. Her entrepreneurial side helped her sell almost 100 paintings in sev- enteen states the next year. Using Instagram, Facebook, and blogs, she has spread word of her work. Through the first half of this year, she sold more than 60 works and has several shows lined up through 2015. She organized the spring 2014 Wellesley Women Artisans studio tour as a way to bring attention to local art. Believing that more people should have access to original work, she often donates paintings to fundraisers. Her work has generated rising acclaim, and has been 176 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | f a l l 2 0 1 4 artist profile left: The Blake family: Cooper, Noah, and Lincoln (front row); Brigham, Isaac, Julia, Jonathan, and Anna (back row); right: Julia Bringhurst Blake P H O T O S C O U R T E S Y O F J U L I A B R I N G H U R S T B L A K E "to create something so beautiful"

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