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Rosemary Bailey with her paintings

Rosemary Bailey has been a lifelong library-goer and a patron at Yellow Springs Community Library since 1973. Always an admirer of painters and illustrators, Rosemary never thought she had the same talent. Describing herself as a person with “no artistic ability whatsoever,” she signed up for a basic acrylic painting class at the library because she “had nothing to lose.” After a couple paintings, Rosemary discovered she had more than an admiration for painting—she had real talent. She credits the library with giving her an opportunity and providing the sort of open environment that made her comfortable to pursue what has become her passion.

“The class sparked an interest,” she says. “Then I began to learn.” She checked out books on painting as well as biographies about her inspiration, Mary Delany, an eighteenth-century British woman who started her professional career as an artist at age 70.

Four and a half months after her first foray into basic arcrylics, Rosemary has completed a number of paintings—from still lifes to portraits to landscapes. Each painting is something new for Rosemary, as she continues her favorite part of painting—“learning the process of creating.”

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