‘It’s never too late,’ Fairbanks stay-at-home Mom’s passion become reality

Published: Feb. 2, 2021 at 3:19 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - A Fairbanks woman is celebrating the announcement of her first art show after making the choice to pursue art later in life.

For 20 years, Lesa Sears supported her husband in his career, raised their five children, and helped her family achieve their dreams.

“Now that I’m 45, I needed to figure out what my dreams were. My husband was finally retiring from the Army, my youngest was starting full-time school, and I finally had time to go back to work.” Sears said.

But the world had different plans for Sears and COVID-19 forced her children back home during the day.

“With no childcare for my three children, I knew my job search needed to be put on hold. With all the time at home, I decided to pull out my paintbrushes and start painting again,” Sears said. “When my babies were younger, I would watch P.B.S. shows such as Bob Ross and Donna Dewberry and think, I bet I can do that.”

With no formal training, Sears started watching youtube videos, teaching herself new techniques, like how to paint scenery or birch trees.

One day while shopping at The Roaming Root, a local food and goods store, she met the owner who had local artists displayed on the walls.

“We got to talking, and I showed her my paintings. She asked if I wanted to have a [art] show. I agreed!” Sears said, “as I drove home, I thought, ‘What did I just do?’ I’m 45 years old. I have had no official art training, just YouTube!”

With nervousness in her stomach, Sears got to painting. “So I just jumped in and just started trying to figure it out and paint and paint and paint,” Sears said.

Sears says she feels empowered by how much community support she has. “You think you are in a small town, you don’t get a lot of opportunities, but actually, I feel like I’ve gotten more because people are more accepting and more willing to help you out and get you started,” Sears said.

Sears’ art show’ is scheduled for February 5th at The Roaming Root, and she already has another one lined up for March.

“I want to be an example to older women those who find themselves at a crossroad. The empty-nesters. Those who feel they are too old to start living their dreams. It’s never too late to follow your passion,” Sears said.

And as a Mom of five, Sears has to practice what she preaches.

“I will tell you what I tell my kids,” Sears said. “You just have to take the chance, You have to leap and not be afraid, I mean I might fall on my butt and it might not work out and this might not be successful, but you’ll never know unless you try and so you should try.”

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