Elisa Kruger was visiting an art show in October of 2015 when she said aloud, “I have always wanted to paint.” One of the artists at the exhibit asked her a question that made her jump into art immediately. The artist asked Kruger what was stopping her.

Since then, Kruger has not looked back. She currently has more than 20 watercolor paintings on display at Quilt Asylum in Van Alstyne.

“The first watercolor painting I did (in that October of 2015) was a simple pumpkin,” Kruger said in an email interview. “It wasn’t great, but it was o.k. However, I still remember the feelings I experienced. It was like a bolt of lightning hitting me. Letting me know I finally found what I am meant to be doing. I am inspired by the beauty around me. It’s everywhere. I’m often drawn to paint animals or nature. It always puts a smile on my face and in my heart.”

Art is something that Kruger said she feels.

“If it resonates with you and moves you, than it is art,” she said. “I tend to enjoy watercolors the most. I have played around with other mediums but always come back to watercolor.”

In the last two years, a new found creativity has opened Kruger up to life.

“It’s really strange to say, but I think uncovering the ability to paint has made me a new person,” she said about the feeling she gets when she is thinking about her next piece. “I feel as if I must create something every day or I will explode. I feel like I have found my purpose in life, which is (I hope) to bring happiness to others through art.”

For others that have not found themselves in art, Kruger said that people should follow their hearts.

“If there is something they have wanted to try, it’s never too late,” she said. “It doesn’t hurt to just ‘try it,’ whatever ‘it’ may be. You are never too old to learn something that could change your life and bring you much happiness. I was past 50 when I started painting. That blows my mind.”

Aside from her work at Quilt Asylum, Kruger’s work was in the Springfield Business Journal for the cover of its 2019 Book of Lists. She was featured in the Start-Up Cover and was nominated for the business journal’s 2019 Entrepreneur of the Year. She took second place in the watercolor professional category in the Springfield Art Museum juried show in Springfield, Missouri.

“Since I have only been painting 3 years, I am still learning my style but I would definitely say it is very loose, carefree and whimsical for the most part,” she said. “I usually plan it out before putting it on paper. I hope to get to where the art takes me to where it wants to go but I don’t feel like I am there yet.”

Future Brown is the Lifestyles and Entertainment Editor for the Herald Democrat. She can be reached at SBrown@heralddemocrat.com.