A lifetime of art graced Christian Haven room

Emma Dale • Jun 24, 2017 at 4:00 PM

Nadia Boring sits in her chair with the sun beaming in her room, just enough to highlight all of the paintings that adorn her walls — paintings that she’s created over her lifetime.

Boring, 92, lived at Christian Haven Home in Grand Haven for several years before recently moving out of the area after her son accepted a job out of state.

Contrary to her last name, Boring has lived a long and interesting life that has brought her travels and many different encounters.

Born in 1925 in Shanghai, China, to Russian-descent parents, Boring relocated to Taiwan after attempting to escape communism. Living there with her husband who had a job with the airlines, she explained they had servants to do all the housework, which in turn left her feeling “bored.”

After discovering a local library, she began to check out books. She then noticed a few paintings, became intrigued and bought them.

No one would have thought these paintings — mostly of birds and flowers — would provide her the inspiration to start a craft she would continue for the rest of her life.

“I was a very curious person, as a child even,” Boring said.

She began taking lessons from a local woman, and practicing her skill, painting different scenes and landscapes.

“So, I would just sit there and watch her, and then I said to myself, ‘My gosh, I think I have something, how can I paint so well now?’” Boring recalled. “There are so many tricks you have to know.”

When her friends began to notice the art in her home, they asked to buy pieces for themselves and for their friends. Now, Boring’s art is located all over the world, in places such as Belize, Italy and France.

In her room at Christian Haven, she had a compartment full of hundreds of paintings and sketches that she created over the years. The art ranged from watercolor to oil paintings, with subjects including people, plants and places.

Boring said the inspiration comes from her mind, but she started to invest more time by frequently reading to fuel ideas.

“I didn’t want to just be good,” she said.

Boring relocated to Grand Haven four years ago with her son, Frank, who was offered a teaching position at Grand Valley State University. She previously lived in upstate New York and California, where she taught classes on how to paint and directed seminars.

Having a high spirit, she said, “If I die tomorrow, I regret nothing.”

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