(By Mary Etta Boesl)
Meet Bruce Waldron, one of the special artists whose work is on display at the Berkeley Art Works in Martinsburg.
Count on Bruce Waldron for imaginative, eye-catching acrylics that reflect life’s variety. He enjoys painting landscapes and people in his innovative bold style.
The greatest influence on Bruce’s art was his mother. She “dragged” her three boys to art galleries and to concerts in Washington, DC, and it stuck with Bruce. “There was not a lot of art in my work as a construction engineer,” he musses, “It was a concrete world—literally.” When working he did find spare hours to do some photography, but he always wanted to do more art.
Now Bruce has time to spread his wings. He paints. He photographs. He writes poetry.
He started a new life when he retired, a life dominated by yoga, tai chi and meditation. This is the life he tries to depict in this art–deserted houses, graveyards, rain, dusk, and other peaceful, serene settings.
“I particularly enjoy black and white, which some find unusual when I have all the colors of the rainbow with which to work,” he says. Bruce also enjoys painting ballet dancers. He’s drawn to ballet dancers because of their form and his favorite painting to date is a black and white dancer. “It’s the height of art,” he comments.
What he loves most is trying out new ideas and honing the ones that enhance his art. He has developed techniques that reflect his love of photography and incorporate his poetry within the frames of his paintings. “I’ll never stop experimenting,” he says.
One way Bruce gets new ideas is by doing art with other people, at all skill levels. At Berkeley Senior Services in Martinsburg, Bruce leads a painting class, a writing class, and a poetry class. He doesn’t call himself a teacher. He is more of a facilitator, helping others discover their own talents. “And I learn by helping them,” he observes.
This summer Bruce set up a blank canvass on the sidewalk in front of Berkeley Art Works during a Downtown Martinsburg event. He invited people eating street food and listening to street musicians to become street artists. “My goal was to take people who are reluctant, scared actually, to pick up a paintbrush. People say no, they are not good. But once they get that paintbrush in their hand they have a good time.” Bruce says it was a wonderful experience to watch the painting grow as each person added a little something to the canvass.
Bruce says everyone can paint. “Don’t overthink it. Just start and don’t stop,” he advises, “Keep painting; keep painting.” According to Bruce, learning to paint is like learning to walk. “No one got off the carpet and walked the first time they tried,” he comments.
Bruce is a member of the Berkeley Art Works Co-op, a group of local artists who show and sell their wares in downtown Martinsburg. “Being an artist can be lonely, but not at Berkeley Art Works,” Bruce says of the co-op, “It is nice to have a place to come together, share, commiserate and advise. Because of the co-op, each of our art is better.”
The next time you are in downtown Martinsburg, stop by Berkeley Art Works at 116 North Queen Street and check out the collection of Bruce Waldron paintings on sale for decorating and one-of-a-kind gift giving. The co-op store is open Wednesday 11-5; Thursday 11-5; Friday 11-5; and Saturday 10-5. Berkeley Art Works is closed Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.