Toby Patricia Chittum
Pretty simple! I paint what I "see," think and feel. The same for my photographs. I love "seeing" the unusual!
I'm from Ashland, Virginia where I attended Patrick Henry High School. My next stop was Radford College (now University). I enjoyed being a member of the German Club and other academic fraternities. I worked at an exclusive clothing store in Radford where I received incredible on the job training in retailing. My undergrad degrees are in Business Administration and Advertising with Minors in Journalism and Photography. Unbeknownst to me, I was predestined to be a teacher. God had a plan. I became an elementary teacher in Spotsylvania in 1968. John Neely, our Superintendent, sent me to UVA for a Master's in Elementary Ed and then on to an ED. S in Special Ed. For 22 years I found I could reach and teach my students K through 12 through art. It's great for showing they understand the academic whatever by producing a work of art. I was THE art teacher for them, schools didn't have one. I own Charley Horse Antiques and Art which became an inspiration while working with Juvenile Offenders. I purchased whatever for the kids to study because they hated their textbooks (me, too) and then sold the items at the the flea market. Pretty soon I was no longer teaching. I became an East Coast Antiques Show Dealer from New York to Texas. I am currently restoring Boxwood Belles, at Lake Anna, (originally Young's Tavern, dating from pre 1800 to 1930 ish, 1,100 acres, now down to 10. Spotsylvania Courthouse records burned in 1800. We can only date the original property to then). My love of Native and South American cultures prevailed. I collect Navajo and Sioux, Eskimo, early Mexican and Southern Country furniture pre 1820. I started painting and doing photography again 2 years ago.
I am a member of the FCCA and the Fredericksburg Photography Club. I moved to Fredericksburg in 2004 from New Jersey. It all started on Mother's Day 2012 with the gift of an expensive camera, from my son. He went to buy me Ipad but changed his mind and purchased a camera for me. I never had a SLR camera before this. Honestly, I had no idea how this would change my life. My goal in photography is to reflect God's amazing creation. I try to capture the beautiful colors or lines and shapes that are everywhere, I sometimes change things for interest and contrast. There is always a story to tell in my pictures. My hope is for others to see in my work inspiration, and feel drawn closer to God and His beautiful world. Somehow, maybe I can bring a fond memory of your childhood, or a dream of flying to your thoughts. I work hard to express as much impact s I can in each of my pictures. I think we all want to document our place in time and history, my choice is photography . Thank you for joining me in this amazing journey called life, by looking through my camera lens.