Having spent her entire life creating art, Bobbie Van Buskirk is incredibly thankful for her talent.
About 6 years ago she had surgery for rheumatoid arthritis, which left her practically immobile. It was during this time that her ability to
express herself creatively reappeared in a more fulfilling way. While she struggled with the idea of being sedentary, she was still able to paint
ceramic pieces. Although she was no longer able to pour and form her own ceramic pieces, the rebirth of her art showed her the reason for what she
was dealing with.
Bobbie paints animals, most often horses, onto ceramic vases and platters. She has also done her work on plates,
canisters, and bookends. Her greatest inspirations are her own horses and many of her pieces have paintings of horses that she owns or owned at one time.
She also paints other peoples' pets when commissioned to do so.
"I can paint anyone's animal with amazing likeness," Bobbie said. "I have done a lot of art for people
who have lost a pet and want something to treasure."
Bobbie's specialty is to take an image of an individual's dog or cat and paint it in a beautiful nature scene on the ceramic piece. She noted that the
response from her clients makes doing the art vry rewarding, and that people often cry when they see how well Bobbie has been able to capture their pet's
"I really like the challenge of doing this type of commission work to memorialize people's pets," she
Bobbie began doing art at a very young age and recalls that her elementary school teachers often told her mother that
Bobbie was truly talented.
"I have always done well in art, ever since I was a kid - I didn't do very well in history or English, but I never
hesitated to get to my art class," she said.
She continued to study art after high school at the Academy of Art, but when she graduated, she said, it was hard to find a
job that would allow her to use her creativity.
"I couldn't waste my life looking for a job; I had to go to work."
She worked part time as a dental receptionist and financial secretary for 30 years. Her schedule gave her time for horse
breeding and art.
Since surgery, she devotes all her time to her art and horses.
"I would encourage anybody to express themselves through art. Some of us have hidden talent that we don't even know is
there unless we go looking for it," she said. "I love to express myself and my love of horses through art."
Bobbie has displayed her work in the front window of Gilibert's Furniture Store for the last year and
a half and has sold a number of pieces this way.