It’s never too late to follow a dream

Joleene DesRosiers

Mary Randazzo is an artist. She can paint with the best of them, creating images that pour from her soul onto the canvas with great ease. But she hasn’t always been an artist.

Just about 25 years ago, Mary was driving through a great canyon in California when she passed a giant, majestic tree. It stood old and withered against the rising sun, but Mary saw its beauty, nonetheless. She decided she was going to take a picture of the tree – and then paint it. She had never, ever painted before. It was something she always wanted to try but never did. A camera lay ready, next to her on the passenger’s seat

“I’ll take a picture of it on my way back through the canyon,” she thought.

And she continued on her way to run some errands, fill her gas tank and visit a friend. Several hours later she was driving back through the canyon, the old withered tree on her mind. As she reached the peak of the hill that would bring her down to where the tree stood, she blinked twice into the now setting sun, disbelieving what she was seeing. The tree, which she admired just hours before, was lying on its side in the brush, with several workmen around it. It had been cut down. Mary pulled over on the side of the road with her jaw dropped. Tears filled her eyes as she watched the men pull at the limbs that once stretched out so graciously. Once again, she thought, she was a day late and a dollar short.

Mary Randazzo and one of her paintings.

“It was the same thing I experienced time and time again: Missing out on something because I didn’t act. And here I was, on the side of the road, watching these men cut up this tree, which I learned later was roughly 300 years old, and I didn’t take the time to stop and snap a photo of it.”

At that moment, Mary decided she wasn’t going to wait any longer to paint. She pulled back out into the road and drove straight to an art store where she bought brushes, paint and canvass.

Mrs. Randazzo was 40 years old when she finally decided to follow a deep-seeded passion. Today she is 64 – and she just won her first two awards for her work, which are prominently displayed at a museum in Clayton.

There may be times you’ve missed out on something because life has you running and running and running. And because you keep running, you miss out on the greatest things sometimes. But if you slow down, just a little bit, you may see something that you didn’t see before. So slow down, just a little bit.

Having said that, when will you go buy your brushes and canvas?