Art is one of the purest forms of expression and it is where Victoria Chase will sometimes go, putting pen to paper, when she wants to escape the difficulties of life.
“It’s relaxing,” she said of her interest in drawing during an interview at the Angel House shelter where she has been living since the beginning of July. “It’s definitely relaxing.”
Until recently, Chase kept her talents to herself, admitting that “I don’t like to put my capabilities out there.”
But then Margaret Benaka in HAC’s development department reached out to the agency’s shelter directors, letting them know she was looking for artwork from a client that could be used on the nonprofit’s holiday card that is being sent to donors and supporters this month.
So Chase went to her relaxing place and began to sketch, eventually coming up with a holiday scene complete with a reindeer and a bag of wrapped gifts against the backdrop of some evergreens. It was done all in black pen before she added some color to a Santa hat on the reindeer, a few gifts and the berries on two holly leaves.
The 29-year-old Chase said she has always loved to draw, at one time keeping a journal where she sketched animals and inanimate objects. “I draw with pen and not with pencil because I would probably erase it a thousand times,” she said.
She once worked at a convenience store in New Hampshire, where she was paid by the manager to paint holiday scenes for Christmas, Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day in the storefront windows.
“She has many talents,” said Angel House’s family clinician Martie Woods of Chase.
As to what the mother of two wants to do, she said civil engineering, something that combines her passion for drawing with her interest in math and science.
But first, she is concentrating on herself, her sobriety and her children with the help and support of staff at Angel House. “It has meant a lot to me,” she said of the program. “It has given me the self-esteem to know I can be a good mother to my kids.”
And the holiday card project has given her a newfound confidence in her abilities. Prior to sketching the scene, Chase had not drawn anything for roughly a year. There is a possibility that HAC or Angel House will solicit Chase’s talents again to create artwork for thank you cards. “It is exciting because I don’t always feel good about myself,” she said.
But with one drawing, Chase has changed that. She is both eager and nervous to continue showcasing her abilities. “I do want to be pushed because I can do more than what I do sometimes,” she said. “I am working towards my full potential.”