Virginia Brubaker, Bead Artist

Virginia Brubaker beading

About Me

I'm Virginia Brubaker, a bead artist who works mostly with seed beads.

I've learned some lessons about working with these beads, some from teachers and others by making mistakes. Lots of mistakes, really. So I thought I would share what I have learned. I hope this will lessen your frustration and speed up your work.

I grew up in a family of artists. My grandmother, Mary Brubaker, painted in oil and in watercolor. When I was a kid, my dad often hand printed our Christmas cards with linoleum blocks. My mom was an avid knitter and did all kinds of home brightening stuff: refinishing furniture, braiding rugs, replacing upholstery, and so on.

My siblings and I were encouraged to create. We had paints and brushes, hammers and wood, fabric for doll clothes, and painting lessons from Grandma B. All that emphasis on creativity seems to have paid off. My brother, Jack Brubaker, is an artist-blacksmith and a printmaker. My sister, M'lou Brubaker is a silversmith/goldsmith who has also begun metal sculpture. While they are both full-time artists, I have a day job as a hypnotist in Champaign, Illinois.

I started using beads to make pictures in 2002. In my pictures, I strive for only enough realism to make the subject recognizable, and then allow the natural luminous qualities of the beads to play important roles in creating impressionistic images.

Thanks to encouragement of members of the Bead Society of Greater Chicagoland, I have submitted my work to competitions and for publication and have been thrilled to have my work included in a couple of books and magazines as well as appearing in Bead Dreams and Bead International shows.

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