Hidden Talent in San Gabriel
Have you always wanted to try something new but thought that you were too old? Well think again. At 79, Celeste Bartsche has become a very talented artist. She decided to take lessons at age 50 and began doing tole painting and became a member of the San Gabriel Valley Tole and Decorative Artists. What is tole painting? Tole painting is done on any surface, but those I have seen are done on wood. The design can be traced or done free hand, depending upon your talent.
Celeste moved on to oil painting which remains her favorite. She displays her art work throughout her home. As you walk from room to room you can see the labor of love that went into each piece, displaying family members, pets and even paying tribute to veterans. I had the pleasure of a personal tour of her studio and the numerous paintings that are displayed. My favorites were the animals and the landscapes. Currently, Celeste continues to take art lessons at the Arcadia Senior Center. There are about 19 students in her current class, each working at different skill levels. Celeste credits her art teacher, Kt Boyce with helping her perfect her work. But she realizes that her talent comes from her father, who was also an artist. Her biggest supporter is her sister-in-law, Sandra Zimmerman.
Celeste has been part of group art showings at the Arcadia Historical Museum and the Pasadena Library. After the 1994 Northridge Quake, she was part of the SGVTole Decorative Artists Association volunteer effort that painted a variety of art on the walls of an entire ward at San Gabriel Hospital. Celeste says she will “continue to paint until she no longer can.”So if you think you are too old to start something new, think again. As Celeste says, “you are never too old.”