WAKE FOREST — Bekah Haslett loved painting as a child, but as she grew up, life tended to get in the way of her art.
But more than a decade ago, as she painted furniture for her own children, she realized how exciting it was to pursue a creative project.
She started picking up a brush more and more as her children grew older, and about eight years ago dove into the world of workshops and classes.
A few years later, she mentioned to her husband that a teacher she loved was teaching in Italy, just to make conversation. When he replied that she should go, Haslett decided to give it a try.
The trip was her first experience painting en plein air, which quickly became a mainstay of her process.
With painting, Haslett found she could escape into another world.
“I think you just get into that mindset and just let your mind go. It’s like getting a massage,” she said.
Haslett is the featured artist this month at the The Cotton Company, 306 S. White Street. A reception featuring her paintings will be held during Art After Hours on Friday in Wake Forest.
Haslett works primarily in oils for her landscape and still life paintings. She takes photos as she travels, and strives to capture what made her stop and pay attention to a place.
More recently, she’s incorporated figurative paintings into her repertoire, seeking to capture faces and gestures.
There are some faces that I’m fascinated by and I try to get them down on canvas,” she said.
Haslett grew up in Goldsboro and spent 10 years in Alabama raising her family. When she and her husband returned to North Carolina, they decided Wake Forest would be the perfect place for them.
Haslett said she’s enjoyed watching the town grow and finding a community of artists and art supporters.
“I think it would be hard to live a community that didn’t have any kind of arts connection,” she said.