Recently this writer had the opportunity to review the paintings and art work of a talented local artist Thea Barbato at her home based studio. She shares her passion for art with her husband of 21 years Mitch in South Charlotte. However, Thea is very active in Mint Hill arts activities and events as she is the Gallery Director for the Mint Hill Arts, Fine Arts Center located on Lawyers Road.
Creating art has been a lifelong passion of hers since she was a young child. She became interested in art and practiced to improve her talent into her teens and early adulthood. However, what happens to many of us is we get sidetracked with the many decisions and challenges of life that puts us on a different path.
Therefore, Thea’s art work was put on hold for three decades. Much like most passions we have inside our inner self, it eventually will come out and sometimes the smallest of sparks can rekindle an ember into a burning fire with extraordinary passion.
The new fire was ignited and she began to create art on her spare time as she still had a full time day job during some late nights. Thea started creating portraits of pets, with her first endeavor being her own dog “Chance” who was an American Pit Bull Terrier. She actually began her art by using color pencils and pastels and created more pet portraits.
She is largely self taught and is an intuitive artist. Thea also enjoys creating art during worship service in church as she is very passionate about her faith. “An artist should never compare your work with another, you must be yourself,” said Thea. She did receive some training between taking college courses and learning pointers from nationally recognized artist Andy Braitman who operates a successful teaching studio in Charlotte and has his work exhibited in several art galleries across the country.
Not long after she began to get commissions for her realistic pastel pet portraits. She started to replace her beautiful pastel works into oils and acrylics, which are her primary mediums used today.
To Thea its about marching to your own artistic drummer. “I’m driven by the passion and love to create my artistic voice,” said Thea. She plans to never stop creating vibrant and mystical paintings, paint what she envisions and loves. Art gives her full completion of who she is as a person and individual. Thea further mentioned, “It is my ultimate satisfaction to make art for your pleasure, as the creative flame burns brighter than ever before.”