Contributed by Linda M. Denver
For many, retirement is the goal line. Spike the ball and kick back, enjoy the well-earned rest from decades of hard work.
But for Menifee resident, Sheryl A. Stradling, her first workplace retirement meant time to pull up stakes and dedicate herself full-time to new challenge. And then do it again. And for good measure, one more time.
And now, the thrice-retired professional is indulging herself full-time in a life-long interest in both the visual and literary arts. Stradling’s past professional career supported her left-brain technical pursuits, which now influences her right-side artistic passions.
Creative works that the Arts Council Menifee (ACM), is recognizing by naming Stradling the March 2023 Artist of the Month.
ACM notes that she was chosen for her unusual talents in both the visual and literary arts.
From the visual perspective, Stradling describes herself as a mixed media abstract artist, which she has developed, nurtured and curated throughout her decades-long employment career.
From the visual perspective, mixed media describes artwork in which more than one medium or material is used, including paint, cloth, paper, wood, and found objects. Media add textures and 3-dimensional contrasts. Abstract art uses visual language of shape, form, color and line to create a composition which may exist with a degree of independence from visual references in the world. It offers a logic of perspective and an attempt to reproduce an illusion of visual reality. Also, Stradling uses acrylics and watercolors, pen and ink, and/or colored pencils in her art.
The literary pursuits are bred from being the third-generation writer, influenced by her: mother, grandmother, aunt, uncle, brother and sister in both fiction and non-fiction. She passed on her talents to her daughter.
After a lifetime of challenges, she is able to do both, calling herself a “late bloomer”.
A decade of writing has drawn inspiration from a collection of eclectic interests, including family history, spirituality, philosophy, eastern religion, nature/ecology, architecture, interior design and gardening.
As a member of Arts Council Menifee, Stradling has shared her artistic expressions in various venues, exhibiting in U.S. Bank in Sun City along with the previous ACM Art and Boutique.
Since 2018, she has been a resident artist at Dorland Mountain Arts Colony in Temecula for both visual arts and writing. Each year she joins other artists, writers and musicians/composers who use the quiet, serene, natural setting on 300 acres of a protected, secluded haven on Highway 79 South. Additionally, she shows at The Merc in Temecula in a small, intimate performance space for jazz musicians.
Stradling’s works have won awards from first place to honorable mention in Arizona’s metro Phoenix area in shows sponsored by the Mesa Art League where she is was a member, and at the Arizona State Fair where she was accepted to show yearly from 2010 through 2019.
To learn more about the artist, visit Stradling’s social media at https://sherylstradling.com, Facebook, and Twitter at @stradartz. Information for Arts Council Menifee is accessed at www.artscouncilmenifee.org.