Traditional Artist

Sheila Preston-Ford

Sheila Preston-Ford Artist
Anderson, CA

I live in Northern California surrounded by natural beauty for daily inspiration. I am a watercolor artist and illustrator, although I use many mediums from acrylic to alcohol ink. I use vivid colors and love value and contrast. In addition to painting, I create 3D assemblage from reclaimed items. Sculpture assemblage has given me a new way of seeing and creating. I started working with reclaimed materials in response to the devastating wildfires that tore through our community. All of the destruction and pain left me wanting to find a way to share beauty and hope from the ashes. I joined the efforts of Art From The Ashes (AFTA) along with other local artists to make art with burned items reclaimed from the wildfires. The limits of the materials are both a challenge and an inspiration.

I am a teaching artist, fostering creativity in the next generation. I teach technique, art history, theory and appreciation as Mrs. Ford at a private elementary school. My favorite part of teaching is encouraging students to enjoy the process and try new things while not being afraid to make mistakes. After repeating this to them countless times, I finally heard it myself. I saw myself struggling for perfection and fearing wrong choices. I am learning to give myself permission to try new things, messy things, silly things, challenging things. Letting go of the search for perfection is the most creatively liberating step I have taken. Maybe I am a recovering realist who is finding beauty in chaos.


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