33" x 41"
Brenda Bickerstaff-Stanley, of Rockville, a watercolorist whose colorful landscapes and florals appeared in the October 2015 “On the Edge” exhibit at For Art’s Sake Gallery began painting when she was 16 and was greatly influenced by her mother, who inspired her first painting experiences. “I still remember painting together and learning to paint true to yourself,” Mrs. Bickerstaff-Stanley said in a statement on her website.
After graduating from Douglas S. Freeman High School in Henrico County, she worked as a computer operator for 11 years before returning to school at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College as a math-science major. She had planned to pursue a medical career at the Medical College of Virginia.
During her years at Reynolds, she took electives in art that changed everything.
“I just had a change in interest,” she said in a 1992 Times-Dispatch interview. She began painting full time in the late 1970s and sold a few prints on her own. She exhibited her work for the first time in 1983 at the Urbanna Oyster Festival, where she sold three paintings for about $30 each.
Mrs. Bickerstaff-Stanley followed in Cezanne’s footsteps, painting in Provence, France, at the base of Mont Sainte-Victoire. She also had sketched and painted in such places as South Africa; Namibia; Venice, Italy; Aix-en-Provence in southern France; and Mammoth Lakes, Calif.
Her work appeared in juried exhibitions from The Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., to the Adirondacks National show.
Over the years, she attended more shows, including Arts in the Park, Arts Around the Lake, the Virginia Interior Design Show, The Bizarre Bazaar, Crossroads Art Center, the VCUarts Anderson Gallery, the For Art’s Sake Gallery and Studio, Gallery Flux, The Little Gallery on Smith Mountain Lake, and the art gallery at The Henry Clay Inn in Ashland.
Her paintings, which ran from $30 up to several thousand dollars, had hung in the Christian/Brydon Gallery and the Trillium Gallery in Urbanna, as well as at such businesses as NationsBank and Philip Morris.
She had been an artist in residence at The Hermitage at Cedarfield and Lakewood and an instructor at For Art’s Sake Gallery, the Rockville Library and the Hanover Department of Parks and Recreation, as well as at local, national and international workshops. She also had taught continuing education classes at St. Catherine’s School in Richmond.
However, her favorite time was with brush in hand.