The Mission of Art: Rebecca Zdybel by Leslie Moore Like many of us, Rebecca Zdybel found her passion in an empty nest. An award-winning, gifted artist and teacher, Rebecca spent her early years first working as an R.N. and then raising her family with her husband of 40 years. “After the kids left home, I found first-class instructors in watercolors. I would spend six intensive weeks a year studying with fantastic people.” Her dedication combined with her innate talent brought Rebecca to where she is today – the owner of a successful gallery with commissions on display publicly and by private collectors, a signature member of the S.C. Watermedia Society, teacher of hundreds of happy students and the leader of her popular trips to Italy each year. “Many of my students come to me in middle life,” said Rebecca as we chatted about her life as an artist and teacher. “That’s what I bring to my students. I didn’t start painting seriously until my 40s – and that brings hope. It’s never too late to pursue your passion
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and learn something new.” Continuing, she said, “Learning is a real fountain of youth. I feel vibrant and alive when I’m learning. Age is not important in the artistic realm.” “I was brought up to do what’s practical,” Rebecca remembered. “I was told to study and do what’s going to help you pay the bills, but I knew I had this ‘thing’ in me that needed to be explored.” Rebecca believes creativity allows us to tap into something greater than ourselves. “Sometimes when I’m painting I go into this realm that’s very meditative – I tap into a higher, deeper, spiritual place.” “Slowing down is very much a part of painting,” Rebecca told me as we continued talking about her love for art. “It really is a wonderful way to spend time, and when you’re finished you have something you created to give someone, or display in your home, or just enjoy for yourself.