Judith Dickinson’s introduction to art began as a young girl at church. At the time, her father was a pastor. Being only eight years old, she was told the only thing she was allowed to do while at church (besides pay attention!) was draw. And draw she did. Judith started off drawing everyone around her, and it wasn’t long before an artist from the congregation took notice of her work.

“He asked my parents if he could teach me how to do oil paint,” Judith said.

Judith said the pair would head out to the lake and paint for hours. Once she tapped into her natural talent and passion for art, she said she simply couldn’t stop. There were times throughout her life when  her creative outlet took a backseat (like when  she was busy raising her children), but she always circled back to the easel as soon as she could.

Though people have always been her primary focus, Judith doesn’t limit herself when inspiration strikes – painting animals, scenery…life. Over the years her technique has evolved and improved, as she homes in on technical goals she’s trying to achieve.

“My subject matter has changed as we started working in Africa because I want to paint the African people and tell their stories,” Judith said. “The most common comment I hear is that people see emotion in my paintings, as well as saying they look so real”

Judith said she purposely incorporates a storytelling element in her paintings. She wants viewers to wonder why a person might be looking off into space or wonder what the subject is thinking.

With more than 50,000 attendees at the Celebration of Fine Art every year, Judith continues to garner attention for going beyond illustrating the likeness of her subject and truly capturing its heart and personality. Being surrounded by world-class artists has continued to inspire her work, as well.

“The draw of the Celebration of Fine Art for me is its educational component,” she said. “I come in early in the morning before anyone is here and do my own private art walk and soak in the creativity that’s here.”

See more of Judith’s story below: