An Art Experience with Judith Ely

Bridgewater College Alumna Shares Her Artwork with Students

Laraya Billups, Staff Writer

Bridgewater, Va. – Bridgewater College alumna Judith Ely began her art exhibit entitled “An Eagle’s View” on Sept. 30, 2019 in the lower level of the Kline Campus Center. Current students from various art and design classes as well as former students came to the opening reception to hear Ely speak about her passion.

Ely was always artistic. She describes her creative abilities as hereditary since her family shares the gift of drawing. However, she did not pursue art as a major during her time at Bridgewater College. It wasn’t until 25 years ago when Ely discovered watercolors, and that was when she began painting as a hobby that soon became a career

At the opening reception, a student asked Ely how she starts making a painting. To explain her technique, Ely held up a blank canvas. She begins with either a canvas, paper or a board, and she blends many colors together to craft shapes and figures.

Ely believes it is important to “leave the process open” and have fun while developing a work of art. “People will notice if you put your soul into it, or if you enjoyed making it,” said Ely. She suggested that it was essential for the artist to show their emotions through the art they create. She shared different methods she has used on her paintings, including using a string of beads dipped in white paint which she added to a landscape.

Ely’s style of painting are landscapes with a display of vibrant colors because she does not like her paintings to “look realistic too much.” A piece of advice Ely gave students was to always try new things, even with paintings that have already been started. “If you’re painting and you want to do something really free, anything you can think of, you can try and change it,” she said.

Many of the paintings in Ely’s collection of “An Eagle’s View” started as one concept, but then she transformed the painting into something new. Ely is always working on at least five projects at a time, and she refuses to limit herself artistically.

The art exhibit will be available to the public from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1p.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday, with a special homecoming reception from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 19. Judith Ely graduated from Bridgewater College in 1969, which makes this year her 50th homecoming reunion.