Artistic endeavors keep Bevsek content

By Anthony Welch

As far back as she can remember, Jean Bevsek has always had an independent streak.

That and a can-do attitude she said she inherited from her mother Katherine has helped Bevsek to stay focused throughout her life. Whether it was earning a degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1968 or venturing off to San Diego, where Bevsek worked part-time and took art and nutrition classes.

“Those were life changing,” she said.

Bevsek became a pescatarian (she said her favorite is wild caught Alaskan fish). She also began her artistic journey. The self-taught Bevsek started designing and making artistic neck pieces from fabrics and abstract painted clay adornments. Wanting to expand to a larger format, she transformed neckwear into larger, abstract wall sculptures.

She also started creating Mayan- and Native American-inspired pieces from wood, hand-tooled metals and hundreds of copper and brass pins and nails.

“My mother and I carried the pieces of wood bought at the lumber yard home on the bus,” Bevsek said.

Currently, Bevsek is creating a mixed media wall sculpture she’s named, “Ocean at Sunset. When finished, the piece will include seven to nine panels.  She’s already completed five panels.

“It’s colorful and happy with all my hand-tooled sea animals and birds, plus my knit and beaded wire ‘water,’” Bevsek said. “I enjoy having a work in progress.”

She’s also ventured into writing. Bevsek considers her biggest achievement to date the recent self-publishing of her historical mystery novel, “Silent Vengeance.” The book is available on Amazon.

“Working nearly 15 years for the Pikes Peak Library District in Adult Services, I was in the right place to be influenced and inspired to carry out my vision about writing a historic novel,” she said. “The myriad of reference books silently admonished, ‘Now you have no excuse.’”

Bevsek wrote the manuscript several years ago.

“My mother helped me edit it and provided her honest opinions. I sent out letters to publishers and received around eight rejections,” she said. “Disappointed, I put it away in a box.”

Bevsek’s mother passed away three years ago. Looking to get her mind off the loss of her mother, Bevsek dug out the manuscript and decided to self-publish it.

“I rewrote several chapters, making myself and my mother a promise to not give up until it was published,” she said. “There were times when I felt like giving up, but I kept on solving problems. I believed in my novel and in the quote, ‘Where there’s a will, there’s a way.’ Once it published, I felt enormous accomplishment.”

Bevsek keeps busy with her art and may start another book. In the meantime, she exercises regularly, enjoys taking classes at the Colorado Springs Senior Center, PILLAR and the PPLD. But mostly she loves spending time with her Italian greyhound Bella (see page 20).

“We all need something to keep us motivated and interested on a daily basis,” she said. “Share your achievements large or small with others. Feedback and seeing results are so important. They give one the impetus to do more.”

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