About Belinda Armstrong
I find myself energized by the playfulness of light as it journeys to and through a particular landscape.One might say that I enjoy being held captive by light; from dappled light in the deepest of forests revealing hidden wonders– to the hot afternoon sun casting long pronounced shadows across the terrain evoking memories of the long summer days of youth– to the transient blinding twinkle of light as it dances on the surface of water.For me,this is inspiration.
Through art I have always felt more connected to the wider touch of human experience, and each time I begin a new piece, it is with the intent of uncovering and exploring the details that distinguish a particular moment for me and for the viewer.Ultimately that’s what I want my art to do: to allow people to make connections between the images in my work and the images in their own memories,their own stories and understandings based on their own experiences of place.
My current pastel work is reflective of the places in which I have traveled. I love the way that pastel captures the vibrancy of the landscape and the immediacy that it provides as a medium.Each mark, seemingly insignificant, merges to re-create a relationship or a recognizable place and time.This connectedness with nature is profoundly important in my work.
Nobody can resist a compelling story and I have always viewed the landscape as such.
My name is Belinda Brooks Armstrong. I am a Mountaineer, having been born and raised in West Virginia, USA. My initial experience as an artist happened during childhood. Like so many children, I was in possession of a box of Crayola® crayons and a basic watercolor set. I spent countless hours drawing and painting on paper tablets and in coloring books. I took tremendous pleasure in the joy of giving art to my family and friends. With the encouragement I received, my confidence grew and I knew that I was becoming an artist. I explored all types of subjects without fear of failure, never turning down a challenge. I found expressive color by layering the crayons in the box to make new colors. I began to use watercolors in exciting ways. I asked for colored pencils and oil paints for birthdays and as Christmas gifts. Soon thereafter I requested private art instruction coupled with classes at the local art center.
My influences include my grandmother, who enjoyed dabbling in different craft-based media such as sewing, decoupage, and painting ceramic ware. I observed her enthusiasm in making Christmas wreaths or little gingham pan holders for the church bazaar. My father was always making things as a hobby to balance his demanding career as a physician. After he built his shop, he began building furniture, canoes, and many other ornamental objects. I saw in him the same enthusiasm as my grandmother combined with the rewarding feeling of sharing it with others. It was this same shared feeling of joy that I wanted for myself and to be able to give to others.
I determined in high school that I wanted to continue to pursue the study of art. I enrolled at West Virginia University, in the College of Creative Arts where I earned my Bachelor’s of Fine Art with Certification in Art Education. It was here that I further expanded my knowledge in painting, drawing and in sculpture. I excelled academically earning Magna Cum Laude distinction and membership in several honor societies. After graduation I began my teaching career. I enjoyed teaching art for over 25 years in both the public and private sector.
I consider my influence as an artist-teacher-learner a key achievement in my career. I am proud of the many students who have gone on to study and pursue creative careers in the arts. Demonstrating my own artistry while teaching younger creatives, enabled me to exhibit my work in local and regional venues and to have my one woman show, “Belinda Brooks Armstrong: Past & Present Works” at the Parkersburg Art Center, West Virginia.
Upon my retirement from education, my husband and I embarked on our shared dream of travel. Most of my work is inspired by my connection with the landscape and the lure of the natural beauty that surrounds us. I work primarily in painting media- pastel, acrylic, oil, and mixed media. I am a member of the Pastel Society of America. I currently work from my home In Vienna, WV.
Other Creative Skills
Mixed Media & Collage