From photography to painting to crochet and more, Becky McAlpine has been pursuing art on and off throughout her life.
She first started taking art classes in high school and continued taking classes at the Minnetonka Center for the Arts later in life. We recently learned another resident, Dick Poey, also participated in some sculpture programs there.
“I like working with oils – that’s my favorite,” said Becky. “I like to have the painting out and paint for a while and study it, and then go back to it.”
But because the fumes and the smell of using oil-based paints and turpentine with this process can be challenging without a separate space to paint, Becky started learning to use watercolors instead.
“I’ve had a lot of fun with different mediums,” said Becky. “I’ve enjoyed working with them, but if I ever have the opportunity to go back to do more painting, I’m going to go back to my oils.”
Along with painting, Becky loves knitting and crocheting as well as photography. She always used to carry her camera with her wherever she went and enjoys taking pictures while traveling.
“It’s been wonderful to take pictures on trips and save them,” said Becky. “One in particular that I’m really proud of is my Amsterdam picture.”
Becky’s black and white photo of Amsterdam includes buildings and bicycles in the city. You may even recognize it from when it was hanging up at Trillium Woods! The scenic image won a prize in her International Women’s Club, where her photography was up against people from all over the world.
Becky loves capturing nature in her artwork. She enjoys taking pictures of birds and other animals, but particularly likes scenery. In her photography and paintings, you can spot covered bridges, red rocks and cacti in Arizona, as well as her adventures in national parks and a lot of trees.
Going beyond the canvas, Becky painted trees directly on the walls of her old home – a contemporary apple tree in the family room and a California evergreen in the dining room. She also painted a golf course scene that ran across the whole back wall of her garage. Becky’s husband built a scaffold for her so she had something to walk on while she painted the massive scene. With that in mind, she thinks it was her biggest painting ever.
Becky has enjoyed painting with some fellow neighbors at Trillium Woods in her spare time, and still enjoys taking classes. She says, “it’s really a lot more fun to be in a group painting than it is to be doing it totally by yourself.”
In the past, she’s taken her photos and turned them into cards, and she appreciates the group that gets together and does cardmaking at the community, as well as all of the art on display here.
“Cardmaking is another art form and I’m glad to see that going on because I enjoy seeing their work,” said Becky. “I enjoy seeing the quilting and the artwork. I really appreciate that and I really appreciate Trillium for allowing us to do that. I’m very thankful to be here.”
Enjoy learning about Becky? Check out even more resident artist stories on the Trillium Woods blog.