May 02, 2013 09:37AM
● By Style
Photos by Dante Fontana, © Style Media Group.
Some people spend their retirement enjoying the freedom—freedom from schedules, freedom from punching a clock, freedom from the fast-paced rat race.
But Folsom resident Vicki Foote has taken an entirely different view of her retirement. She has approached these golden years with deep appreciation that she now has freedom too…freedom to do whatever her heart desires.
After years spent teaching elementary school and raising her three children, Foote decided it was time to explore every avenue that piqued her interest. An avid tennis player, she also took up piano, joined a singing group (the Songbirds), learned to play the ukulele, and took on a job writing book reviews for a children’s Web site—all in her retirement. Out of all of these amazing talents, however, it’s Foote’s painting that’s allowed her to give back and reach so many people in the Folsom area and beyond.
“I was always interested in art but didn’t really take the time to pursue it before I retired,” Foote says. She dabbled for a while then became more serious while taking a few classes—first studying with community artists, before moving on to college courses and eventually delving into trade workshops. Though much of her work is of landscapes and animals, she often branches out to capture lovely bits of still life and even tackles challenges, such as highlighting the beauty of classic cars.
“I’m continuing to study,” she shares, noting her endless hunger to learn. Foote says she is constantly expanding her technique and knowledge, adding new elements to her art with wisdom gained from various books and classes. “[Painting is] now part of my everyday life. The more I learned, the more I became interested in creating what I enjoyed and what others enjoy, too.”
Foote has painted with watercolors and oils but prefers to work with acrylic, siting its forgiving nature as being beneficial to her painting style. “I like the convenience of it,” she adds. Color is very important to her, though she is always evolving her mastery of design and composition, and working to coax the true beauty of nature from her medium. Slightly impressionistic in her style, Foote aims to retain realistic elements of her subjects.
As a member of Folsom Rotary’s Inner Wheel, the women’s auxiliary for the Rotary Club, Foote is well known for donating her talents to help raise funds for their community outreach programs. She also donates her work to the annual KVIE Art Auction. “I do a lot of painting and it’s nice for them to have a home,” she says. The paintings with the deepest meaning to her are the ones she creates for those close to her heart. Recounting a portrait she painted for her son—based on a photograph of his teenage self on a motocross bike—she says, “Whenever I do something for a member of the family, my art becomes more worthwhile.”
Mixing her passion for art and experience teaching, Foote volunteers for five weeks every summer as an art teacher at the Estes Park YMCA summer camp in Colorado. What’s more, she also shares her unique blend of skills with the local community, teaching classes for the local parks and recreation department and assisting in art classes at Theodore Judah Elementary School.
Foote’s paintings are exhibited in a variety of locales, including Amoré Café in Gold River, New ArtWorks Gallery in Fair Oaks and Ambrosia Café & Bakery in Sacramento. You may also find smaller versions of the artist’s striking work on greeting cards at local craft shows and Rotary Club auctions.
Embracing her freedom to its fullest, Foote could not imagine a better way to spend her retirement. “I’m happy to have the time to do what I choose to now,” she says of celebrating the newfound ability to share her work with those around her and spread the true joy of art.