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An artful lady

Eileen Zolad blends artistic skills with other interests

Created date

July 26th, 2011
When you re painting, you re not thinking about anything else. That is how Eileen Zolad describes the art form that has captivated her since she was a young girl. Eileen, who is originally from Chicago, says she was inspired by childhood visits to the city s Art Institute, and her parents encouraged her to paint from a young age. Eileen first began painting in oil colors. Over the years, she took art classes from a few different teachers. But, she says it really has been through trial and error by putting paintbrush to canvas that she has perfected her craft. You pick up different techniques, and from them you develop your own technique, she says.

Global inspiration

As Eileen grew older, she began traveling extensively. She s visited Europe, Africa, South America, and Asia, and she says her international travels have been a significant influence on her art. She s turned several vacation snapshots into beautiful oil paintings. Eileen s vivid depiction of a quaint Parisian streetscape hangs above her couch, and several other globally-inspired paintings grace the walls of her apartment home at Fox Run, an Erickson Living community in Novi, Mich. Eileen moved to Fox Run from a condominium in Bloomfield, Mich., about seven years ago and quickly became acquainted with the many other artists who also live at Fox Run. We have a lot of very talented people here, she says. When I first moved in, I used to work on my oil paintings [in the on-site art studio] with several other ladies on Saturday afternoons. Eileen says she paints primarily as a relaxing and rejuvenating hobby. She has either kept most of her paintings or given them as gifts to friends and family members. But she has periodically displayed her work in art shows and has sold some pieces.

Truly personal greeting cards

In recent years, Eileen has started to work in watercolors. She hand crafts one-of-a-kind greeting cards with her original water color paintings of colorful flowers, whimsical butterflies, and other scenes. Since she is now painting on a smaller scale, Eileen says she usually works right in her own sunny kitchen, which is flooded with natural light during the afternoon. This artful lady has a personalized stock of greeting cards on hand to celebrate every occasion, from birthdays to retirements. Her hand-painted cards are also a big hit at Fox Run s annual craft fair, at which resident artists of all kinds display and sell their wares. In addition to working on her art, Eileen maintains an active lifestyle at Fox Run. She is a member of the Continuous Learning Committee, which plans and hosts monthly speakers on a variety of topics, from global warming and stem cell research to orchestra and native Michigan birds. She also has joined Fox Run s so-called Hot Stove League, a group of avid Detroit Tigers fans who meet to discuss the team s performance and strategy and periodically take in a baseball game together. Eileen says she also loves to play bridge. She continues to meet with friends from her old neighborhood to play cards, and she s found new friends at Fox Run who share her love for the game.