Woman has lifelong love affair with art


October 09, 2001|By Nancy Gallant | Nancy Gallant,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

CLOTILDE BUSCAGLIA may sometimes be forgetful, and she's not as agile as she once was. But when it comes to art, the 89-year-old Crofton woman's passion is as intense as it was when she got her first paint box more than seven decades ago.

"Art," she says, "is my whole life."

Buscaglia's paint box is on display, along with several of her paintings and drawings, at the Crofton branch of the county public library. Chloe Giampaolo, Buscaglia's daughter, arranged the display in celebration of her mother's 90th birthday next month.

Recognizing this milestone, Giampaolo wanted to honor her mother's talent and her "passionate love affair with art all her life."

As a child, Buscaglia had no formal artistic training. In her words, she learned to draw "just by nature."

She grew up in Illinois and Pennsylvania. As a teen-ager, she went to work in a factory but managed to find time to draw. She married and raised three children, and still she painted.

Giampaolo remembers watching her mother spend hours painting portraits, landscapes and war bond posters.

Watching her mother gain such joy through painting "was a delight," she remembers.

After Buscaglia's husband, Joseph, retired and the couple were living in Harford County, her lifelong dream came true. She was in her 70s when she received formal art training.

Her husband would drive her to Harford Community College and wait outside while she took her class. After a time, the teacher asked him to be a model, and he took part in his own way in the art classes.

The Buscaglias moved to the Crofton area several years ago to be near their daughter, then became residents of Crofton Convalescent Center. She continued to enjoy art, giving lessons and drawing until she suffered a stroke two years ago.

Even though she no longer paints or draws, Buscaglia's eyes still light up when she talks about art. Linda Moreno, who works at the center, said she enjoys showing her artistic endeavors to Buscaglia because the older woman has a wonderful sense of technique and is generous with sharing her ideas and experience.

Giampaolo says her mother's spirit has inspired her "to be passionate about living."

She remembers a time when her mother, then 87, asked to play miniature golf for the first time. She got a hole in one.

Buscaglia is still ready to encourage aspiring artists. She will be a judge at an art show for pupils from Crofton Elementary School.

After all these years of painting and drawing, she has one piece of advice for any struggling artist.

"Keep it up," she says.

Stained-glass lecture

Visitors to Crofton's St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Roman Catholic Church are always impressed by the beautiful stained-glass windows. At 7 p.m. Sunday at the church, historian Jim Schaefer will explain how the windows tell the story of Christ. Refreshments will follow.

Information: 410-721-5770.

New site for meeting

Access to Fort Meade has been restricted because of increased security at the base, so this month's meeting of the Christian German American Women's Group will be held at a new location. The meeting will begin at noon Monday at First Evangelical Lutheran Church of Odenton, 1306 Odenton Road.

The purpose of this group is to practice speaking German in a social and religious atmosphere. Regina Brady will speak on "In God We Trust." Following her presentation, the group will enjoy a German lunch and singing.

Information: Irene Kucholik, 301-621-7862 or Karin Jackson, 301-855-6877.

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