Trilbie Knapp has been passionate about art since she was a little girl, yet, as a college student at James Madison University, she opted to major in business.
“My parents told me to get a degree where I could make a living,” she recalled, adding that she took art as an elective whenever possible.
Passion, however, ultimately won over practicality and, despite her Bachelor of Arts in business, Knapp ended up pursuing a career in the arts. Decades later, the Charlottesville local is an award-winning professional artist whose work is currently being displayed at the Charlottesville Airport, the SPEAK Language Center and the Spring Street Boutique in downtown Charlottesville.
Knapp — who specializes in watercolors, pastels, and drawing — says her personal style combines abstract techniques with realism.
“[I create] familiar surfaces that look real, but not as comprehensible,” she explained. “I also like to mix mediums, such as watercolors and pastels, or watercolors and charcoals. I have fun with it.”
While she enjoys creating her own pieces, she says nothing beats sharing her love of art with others.
“I’m happiest when I’m teaching; I just have a real passion for helping others learn art,” remarked Knapp, whose been giving art lessons for more than 30 years.
Sharing Her Gift
This summer, locals have the opportunity to take one of her classes, as Knapp is offering four watercolor painting workshops at Shenandoah National Park. Each is designed for beginners, and will be taught in a step-by-step format.
According to Helen Morton, the marketing and public relations agent for Shenandoah National Park, the workshops are a great summer activity for families.
“I just think it’s a nice activity you can do with your family, it’s very relaxing and then you can take home a great memory,” she said.
Morton also considers Knapp a top-notch teacher.
“She’s a great instructor,” she praised. “She’s very well-known in her area.”
During each three-hour workshop, students will create two paintings — one of the Blue Ridge mountain landscape, and the other of various Shenandoah flowers.
Knapp, who promises to give each student “one-on-one time,” says she enjoys helping others create beautiful keepsakes.
“The projects they take home usually turn out well,” she said. “They’re usually very pleased. I like to see everyone leave with a smile.”
Knapp hopes anyone with an interest in art will consider taking a workshop, and adds that the park is especially “beautiful in the summer.”
“If you enjoy art, or if you’ve always wanted to try it, the workshops will certainly give you that opportunity,” she said.
“Most of the people really seem to enjoy them.”
Contact Katie King at (540) 574-6271 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Need More Information?
What: Watercolor Painting Workshops.
When: July 19 and 20; August 23 and 24.
Where: Big Meadows Lodge at Shenandoah National Park.
Price: $45 per workshop, includes all the necessary supplies.
Recommended for ages 7 and older; children who attend should be interested in art.
To register, email Trilbie Knapp at Trilbie@embarqmail.com.