Eldridge Bagley has lived on the same 60- acre farm his entire life.
Bagley always loved drawing but never considered art as a career until he read an article about famed artist “Grandma Moses,” who began painting at age 76. He went to Victoria’s (a town of 1,725) local dime store, looking for art supplies. Finding only paint-by-numbers sets he bought those.
“You got brushes, paint and a canvas panel with a pre-drawn design. I painted [original art] over [the design],” he explains. “I discovered what it was like to create something from your imagination, and wanted to do more.” At age 27, after completing four paintings, he decided to offer them for sale at the log - cabin - turned - antique shop behind his parents’ home. In a few months, all had sold — for six dollars each. He kept farming and painting, selling his work wherever he could.
“My vision is to tell the story of this land, especially this rural part of Southside Virginia and the people who inhabit it, ordinary people; but when you look and think about their lives, they are anything but ordinary. They’re extraordinary and unique,” Bagley says
In 2011 at age 71, at age Eldridge Bagley was named Artist of the Year by the Folk Art Society of America.
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