Clara Podger Biography
Clara Podger was born in 1937 on a farm in upstate New York and has 13 siblings. After graduating high school and working for the phone company, Clara married Ken Podger and they had six children in six years keeping her busy. Ken was an Engineer for GE and moved the family frequently living in five different states and traveling throughout 40 states in just the first 10 years.
Once the kids were in school in the 70’s, Clara started working in the schools while living in Pennsylvania and teaching herself to upholster. Moving to Ohio in 1974, she worked in the upholstery trade for three years then started her own upholstery business. At the age of 40, Clara went back to school became a nurse and worked in a hospital. In 1983, Clara decided to move California where she lives today, working in a VA hospital and the prison system until her retirement at 68.
Although she always loved art, she never had time to pursue her passion until she retired 2006. Clara took art classes at Solano Community College and the Senior Center in Vacaville. Influenced by other artists of different styles (including an older sister) Clara developed her skills through practice, books, TV and tapes. She has won many ribbons at local fairs, her travel photos through 48 states and five countries influence her art. At age 70, Clara learned to weld encouraged by her son Dan (an accomplished welder) and daughter Debbie, setting up shop in her garage. Clara took three semesters of welding with her daughter while she continued art classes at Solano Community College. When Dan, Clara’s only son died suddenly in 2009, she found comfort by painting. Dan really had a love of nature and he has been an inspiration in many of her paintings.
Clara is a survivor; she recovered from a stroke and has beat cancer twice. She jokes she has used four of her nine lives. Clara is an inspiration to her daughters (me), grandchildren and large extended family, for never giving up, teaching herself if she has too, and keeping an open mind and always learning new things. She gets better all the time and enjoys the process, never afraid to try something new at any age.
Clara can also paint a photo of one of your favorites on consignment. Clara has a website “in-progress” at artbyclarapodger.com. If you see a painting that is available on her Website you like, please contact her through her email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone (707) 426-2742.