I am Cindy Gilmer and I am an aspiring artist. This blog is about my journey to find a new passion. I have spent my entire career as a high-tech executive and entrepreneur. During that time I have always sought out creative outlets to ensure my “right brain” was being used.
For many years I was an amateur dancer focusing on classical ballet. Eventually my knees decided they had done their last plié.
In the late 1990’s I started to paint having not done anything related to art since high school. I started out painting in acrylics. I primarily painted flowers, windows and doors, and other aesthetically pleasing but not too difficult subjects. In the early 2000s I took some classes from Jennifer Schoechle who was a wonderful portrait artist. During that time I transitioned from acrylics to oils. I have since added watercolors to my repertoire.
During the 2000’s I also started my own consulting company, Opus Plus, Incorporated, which focused on new product and service development and innovation for high-tech companies. Running a company takes a lot of time and effort, and also serves as a creative outlet, so during the ten years from 2001 through 2011, I focused mainly on that, only doing art occasionally.
In 2010 – 2011 time-frame, I was facing some professional and personal challenges. One major outcome from this is that my husband and I decided to make our main home in the Blue Ridge Mountains buying a home in Wintergreen Virginia. Still needing to make a living in the Washington DC area, we downsized our residence there to a condo and we spend as much time in the mountains as we can. This new setting has proven very inspirational. I also shut down my company and returned to life in a large company, leaving me with an identity crisis. I came to the realization that I needed a new passion and returning to painting has been the answer.
In 2018, I transitioned to “mostly-retired” and my husband and I moved to our home in the Blue Ridge Mountains full time. I am trying to paint more and work less.
The purpose of this blog is to share my experiences learning, discovering and making this transition from engineer to artist. I hope you enjoy my musings and maybe find some of your own passion within them.
About the name Opus Plus…as I mentioned above, Opus Plus, Incorporated was the name of my company. It was derived from the Latin translation for product, which is opus. More generally opus means “a work” which as it turns out can be used in many contexts. It is just as appropriate to a work of art as it is a product. Opus Plus is no longer a corporation, but I decided to retain the domain name and repurpose it for this next phase of my life.