When Patricia Acton was a young girl, she had dreams of attending Moore Art College. She loved all types of art, but saw herself growing up to be an interior decorator.
“As a little girl, while everybody was outside playing, I was inside coloring, cutting and painting,” she said.
She got married at a young age to her high school sweetheart, and instead of attending Moore Art College, she worked from home as a stay-at-home mother, taking care of her three children.
As time went on, she occasionally helped her late husband, who was a home builder, by doing some interior decorating. She helped him by painting and staining the wood, as well as decorating the houses. She used this as a creative outlet while her dream of being an artist was put on hold.
In 1996, her husband and the father of her children died of leukemia, forcing Acton to take on a new role as a single parent. She got a job at Harrison Township School District as a playground aide. Some 25 years later, she retired as the principal’s secretary.
About 10 years ago, a few years before she retired, she saw the local college was offering a photography night class.
“If I don’t start pursuing my dream of doing something with art or photography, I’m not getting any younger,” she remembered.
At the night class, she met Bob Reid, the professor, who took her under his wing and gave her the confidence and encouragement she needed to fulfill her dreams as an artist.
After seeing her interest in pursuing art, her current husband, John Acton, played a major role in her support system as well. He transformed a spare bedroom into an art studio by adding a balcony and a sliding glass door.
“I’ve had such a wonderful support system between my husband, my family, my friends,” said Acton.
She started her career with photography, then digital mixes. Her current favorite art form is mixed media where she copies her photography on canvas and uses acrylic paint.
You can find Acton’s artwork at the Pitman Gallery & Art Center at 59 S. Broadway, Pitman.
She wants people who may find themselves in the position she once was to remember that “it’s never too late to dream. It’s never too late for new beginnings and it’s never too late to be the person you always thought that you should be.”
For more information on where to find or purchase Acton’s art, visit her website at https://pbgacreativeimages.smugmug.com/.