It’s not everyone that can take up painting at age 40 and proceed to become one of the most popular and best-selling artists of the day. But then, Judy Buswell is not everyone.
A nurse practitioner in her first career, Buswell came from an artistic family. Her grandmother, in particular, was an exceptional watercolor artist; and her mother, aunts and uncles also enjoyed a talent and love of art. As for Judy, “I always loved watercolors and always knew I could do it,” she says. “I just hadn’t taken the time to get into it before.”
Once she did get into it, Buswell jumped in with two feet. She worked at it “day and night,” and took classes and workshops to learn the techniques. From there, her obviously innate talent took over and after two years of learning and experimenting with designs, she launched her own greeting card business in 1987.
Buswell started with seven cards and four prints, and when she wrote seven orders at her first show, she was very happy. From that humble beginning, she sold over one million cards in just her third year in business. Today, her portfolio of printed work now encompasses some 250 different images.
The majority of Buswell’s artwork features flowers or gardens – a universally appealing theme that accounts in part for her vast and growing popularity. But there is more to it than that, and for many people, the appeal is hard to put into words; they just know that they love her art. For some it is the vividness of her colors; for others, it’s the familiarity or nostalgia the images evoke, and the sense that the images come straight from the heart.
“The thing I love most about painting is the feeling that others bring to the work – their childhoods, their dreams, their secret places,” confides Buswell. “When people tell me that they really enjoy my paintings, that’s when it’s the most fun to be a part of it.”