Artist Rina Patel in her Sari

Rina’s story

At the age of 3, Rina recalls helping her teacher move art supplies when a large jar of blue paint spilled on the white paper they had laid on the floor. The paper was seemingly ruined, and Rina thought the teacher would be mad at her. Instead of scolding her, the teacher said "Rina, you now have a great start- either an ocean or a big blue sky." Here is where she learned that there are no mistakes in art, just beginnings. As she got older, she continued experimenting with different mediums, taking lessons at every opportunity.

Her father and mother taught her to be independent and encouraged her to that end. With her father's blessing, she rode her bicycle to the small airport to take flying lessons and earned her pilot's license before she was old enough to drive a car. She wanted to go to an art college, but her mother and father disagreed, stating she would need a real job to make a living. Art was not considered a way to support herself. So, once Rina moved to the US, she got a master's degree in accounting and spent years working as a Financial Controls and Compliance Officer for a major corporation. 

Later, she had her own children, twin boys. One day, when the twins were 5 years old, she said to them both, "When you grow up, you can be anything you want to be." One of her sons asked, "Mommy, what do you want to be?" As Rina reflected on this question, she realized all she had ever wanted was to be an artist. She had relegated her art to a hobby, instead of following her passion. And from that realization, she started painting again. Her earliest works were for friends and family, who all commended her work and encouraged her to show more. Since then, she participates in art shows around the country, including the Bellevue Art Museum. Her art was used as a poster and digital banner for the Tasveer Indian Film Festival in 2019, shown here. Her story is a wonderful reminder of what it looks like to live one's truth- and that it's never too late. 

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