We had the good fortune of connecting with Duffy Sheridan and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Duffy, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
My wife and I have been married for more than 50 years and looking back it seems that many of our life decisions could easily have been viewed as risky. But the choice that most influenced the rest of our lives was the decision to move overseas in 1976. Although at that time I was a working artist in California and could have continued along that path, we decided that as members of the Baha’i Faith we wanted to take the opportunity to live in another country where we might be of service. Along with two other families, we decided to move to Trinidad to set up an art studio in the Caribbean. We sold everything we owned except bathing suits and beach towels and headed to the National Baha’i Center in Chicago. When we got there, they said if we wanted to go to Trinidad, that would be fine, but they asked if we might consider another small group of islands whose Baha’i community had asked for some help. She said, “Before I tell you where they are, let me tell you a bit about them. There are more penguins than people, it blows a gale five days a week and never gets above 70 degrees on the hottest days of summer.” She then described the islands, basically as huge sheep farms with a population of 1800 people. When she told us the name, we had never heard of the Falklands Islands, but since our focus was to be of service, we immediately got visas from the British Consulate, bought down coats and warm clothes, and headed south. At this point I thought – there goes any art career I had hoped for. But as it turned out, this was the true beginning of my art journey. Initially I worked as a carpenter and my wife got a job as a clerk/typist with the local government. The economy of the Falklands was such that it rapidly became apparent that her salary was sufficient to cover living costs and I was able to paint full time. As a self-taught artist this gave me seven more years to explore and develop my craft, uninterrupted and uninfluenced by anyone. This time was devoted to practice and defining my own style. Although this was an extraordinary time in our lives with many interesting anecdotes, I will be brief and share just one. In 1982, war broke out when Argentina invaded and occupied the Falkland Islands which is a British Colony. Even though the islands at that time was a place most people had never heard of, this war overnight became world news when the British government sent their Task Force to take the Islands back. At its conclusion, because it had created such a sensation, I was commissioned to prepare a show of paintings of the Falklands and its people which was exhibited at the Royal Festival Hall in London for six weeks and then toured the United States. I prepared 20 paintings for this show which received extraordinary press coverage and launched my career internationally. So you never know what will happen when you take a risk; life works in mysterious ways and what could appear to be an ending, may be a wonderful new beginning.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I have been a realist painter for 55 years. I concentrate on the human face and figure. I have been designated an ARC Living Master by the Art Renewal Center. My family and I have lived in a variety of countries around the world and love exploring new places and meeting new people. My highest aspiration as a painter is to show the beauty and dignity of the human form.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Thanks to my wife, Jeanne, and our sons Eli and Max.

Website: duffysheridan.com
Instagram: #theofficialduffysheridan

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