It is a pleasure to share this article by inspirational artist Betty Jean Hoaglund, as part of our ongoing series of Artists Stories — how artists have used art to cope with life’s challenges. Hoaglund explains how art became her survival tool and refuge, especially during such challenging times as when her mother suffered from depression and when she became a widow. For her, it is a “place of calm”.
With expressive subjects and animated brushstrokes Betty Jean Hoaglund takes viewers to worlds of joy and enchantment. In her first one-person exhibition, she sold six paintings and received four commissions within the first two hours. Since then she has been in numerous exhibitions throughout Texas. In addition to being a successful artist she is the author of a series of newspaper articles published under “My Paint of View” and is an active member of the art community. Please visit her website at mypaintofview.net ~ Renée Phillips
Betty Jean Hoaglund’s Story
Art has always been my go to place of calm when the world was too much for me. Sketching and painting were both a refuge to me and a survival tool. I was always aware that tragedy touches everyone’s life at one time or another. In my case it was the fact that my mother battled depression ever since I was a child. I mistakenly thought it was my responsibility to find her a source of happiness. It was a futile quest for me but I never stopped trying.
My art bolstered me at those moments when I was emotionally drained. I would draw something wherever I went whenever I could. I started drawing when I was three years old. No scrap of paper escaped unscathed.
When I was a widow in 2008 (my daughter) declared
it was time for me to get serious about my art.
My first happiest day of my life arrived with the birth of my daughter who is my very best Work of Art! I shared my love of art with her and painted with her side by side. I am proud to say she grew to be a wonderful writer and artist. She is also my advocate. When I was a widow in 2008 she declared it was time for me to get serious about my art. She enrolled me in the art league and publicized my work. Through her endless encouragement and support, I began a successful journey into the happiest period of my life.
In the next three years I became an active member of the art community and developed a recognizable style of my own with my “Let’s Do Lunch” series. The title of the series came from friends saying let’s do Lunch after I became a widow. The blonde in every painting is my daughter. The mouth on all the girls is a simple cross referring to the fact I was at a “Crossroads in my life”.
My next happiest day in my life was when I married Richard Hoaglund. We had not seen each other in 50 years. He found me on our 50th reunion website and emailed me. Within a few months we married and attended the reunion as newlyweds.
Art heals with no bad side effects.
My husband and daughter encouraged me to do a solo show in 2012. Jenniffer Norman gave me the venue at her winery. I sold six paintings in the first hour and received four commissions that night. Jenniffer still promotes my art wherever she goes and has become a dear friend.
I also started writing articles with the tag line ”My Paint of View.” The articles use humor to promote the arts in the growing town of Rockwall, Texas. The articles thinly disguise my ongoing lobbying for a cultural arts center in our burgeoning town.
In an article I wrote, “In a world of technology bringing instant gratification and schedules demanding, “I want it yesterday”, art is the panacea of creative calm. Art heals with no bad side effects. A canvas that springs to life, a photo that captures life, a story that writes of life, a song that sings of life are all good for your well being. Don’t just stop and smell the roses…paint them.”
I donate my art whenever I can to raise money for charity,
to pay forward what art has given to me.
I continued to immerse myself in art in my community by being on the board of several art non-profits and partnering to run two galleries. Currently, I paint on silk as well as canvas. I will be working with the head of our local hospital to see if we can implement our own version of healing ceilings. I donate my art whenever I can to raise money for charity, to pay forward what art has given to me.
Visit Betty Jean Hoaglund’s website at mypaintofview.net