My Story

Art captured my heart at a very young age while watching my grandma, Barbara Garrels, create beautiful oil paintings. I credit her and her influence as the reason I became interested in my own art. I then eventually pursued a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Interior Design, which I received in 2008.

Art was what would be considered my "side hustle" which just began incidentally on it's own in 2011 after gifting my cousin with a drawing I did of her daughter. I began to receive other requests through word of mouth to create drawings of pets, people and landscapes. From there, I have sold my work at the following events and locations:

  • The Snake Alley Art Fair

  • The Art Center of Burlington

  • The Burlington Fine Arts League GALA

  • The Louisa County Art Show

  • Art in the Park during Midwest Old Threshers

  • Mt. Pleasant Art IMPACT

  • Online

 

During the last few years of my design career I felt myself yearning to do fine art more and more but had a fear of going out on my own and leaving my full-time job. In 2017 there was a terrible car accident involving my grandma and her life was taken and I was devastated that such a beautiful and creative soul could be taken like that. I found notes of hers later that were actually for an art class she was teaching at The Art Center of Burlington. She taught classes there often and I attended many of them with her. The notes of hers that grabbed my heart the most stated:

 

  • "Stop telling yourself it's too late."

  • "Stop waiting until you make enough money to do something you'd really love."

  • "Stop telling yourself that dreams don't matter, that they are only dreams and that you should be more sensible."

  • Stop fearing that your family and friends would think you're crazy."

  • "GO FOR THAT DREAM. The experience will make you feel excited, frustrated, discouraged, joyous, hopeful, fulfilled and most importantly, it will feed your soul!"

  • "No mater how long it takes, persist. No matter how discouraged you may get, preserve. No matter how much you want to quit, hang in there."

I was an interior designer for 14 years and finally made the leap to a full-time artist in 2019 when I quit fearing the thought of failing.

 

Following in my grandma's footsteps, in addition to selling my own work, I have taught classes at:

  • The Art Center of Burlington

  • The Airport Road Vineyard

  • Mt. Pleasant Middle School Art Club

While I primarily use charcoal or watercolors, I will also mix mediums by using charcoal with pops of acrylic paint or oil pastels.

 

Art is my way of sharing fond memories of a childhood growing up in the Midwest and the comforting feelings of home and family. In my Midwest-inspired collection I use a variety of charcoal and acrylic paint to add pops of color as well as full watercolor paintings. This results in a bold and detailed representation of imagery that hopefully encourages the viewer to recall their own experiences of living or growing up in the Midwest.

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Artwork by Jerilyn Horn. All rights reserved.