STERLING — When it comes to inspiration for her paintings, April Tully feels blessed to be able to find it in her own garden and through her faith.
“Living in an area with an incredible amount of nature has definitely inspired me,” the 23-year-old artist said of being a resident of rural Sterling for five years. “We live on about 4 acres of land consisting of fields and woods, and as this is a right to farm town, my parents allowed me to raise a small farm for many years…from from the age of 9, which included goats, chickens, ducks, guinea fowl, dogs and rabbits. I have always been very drawn to nature…. Everything I could get my hands on: books on nature, shows or anything related to animals.
Tully has eight siblings, all of whom were homeschooled by their parents and English and math tutors. They lived in Leominster before moving to Sterling, and she said she was “mostly self-taught with art”.
“I only took a very small basic three or four day course when I was very young with our home school group, and then only a few more with a professional artist I know in my area, named Jonathan Macadam,” she said of her journey. .
When asked when she first started creating art, Tully said she couldn’t remember.
“Honestly, I think I loved drawing and coloring when I was very young, then I continued to draw as I got older, and then to paint,” she recalls. “I did my first acrylic painting of a pair of yellow boots when I was 16. That’s when I realized I needed to take my hobby more seriously.”
His paintings are vibrant and thought-provoking and feature street scenes, landscapes, and Jesus kissing a child, among others.
“The subjects that appeal to me the most are nature, creation and faith-based paintings that express an emotion or a message that has changed my life or touched me in some way”, she said. “I love being able to express my faith, as well as the beauty of nature.”
At the Art in the Park event in town last fall, she was able to show off her work by exhibiting several paintings, an experience she called “incredible.”
“The only other thing I did besides that was put my work in the Sterling Fair competition,” Tully said. “I was extremely happy when I received three champion ribbons and a few first places for different plays.”
Regarding her artistic process, she said what she loves most about creating is that she “essentially can step into a calm, patient world where I can take my time to create something beautiful and create exciting new ways to correct and resolve errors”. .”
“It’s one of the most rewarding feelings to step back and realize that I was able to highlight what only I could see at the beginning,” Tully said.
When she finishes a piece, whether it’s a painting, a sketch, a drawing or something else, she likes to “keep it on hand for a while, so I can continue to look at it and appreciate my accomplishment.
“Sometimes when I’m doing this I can see things I haven’t seen before to fix or add, but I usually like to enjoy all the time I’ve been there,” Tully said proudly. “I think I would go so far as to say that after so many hours of work, it encourages me and inspires me that it was worth it when I watch it and take it into account.”
The reaction to his creations from family, friends and the community “surprised me at first”.
“I think maybe I thought my job was totally normal,” she said. “I still think it can be for anyone willing to apply themselves and be patient.”
Tully said her parents have always been her “greatest cheerleaders, always encouraging me to keep drawing, coloring, sketching, etc. I don’t know if I would be where I am today if it wasn’t for them.”
Although she hasn’t done a gallery show or been part of an art show yet, she said she plans to check this off her list “in the near future” and has big goals as an artist.
“My future goal as a painter is to be able to become an amazing children’s book illustrator,” Tully said. “To be able to illustrate in a fun and exciting way for children and to become extremely skilled in painting in detail and with precision in regards to realism, so that I can express my faith and the beauty of art creation. in an understanding way. I would also like to touch many lives by being able to paint things for people that they cannot express.
Tully said that for her, “it’s an honor to even be able to be called an artist.”
“I am sincerely privileged when I am asked to paint something or even when I am recognized for my art, I am very grateful.”
For more information, follow @theartshop23 on Instagram.