Tag Archives: Art Education

Forgotten Coast en Plein Air 2018

The Vision
The festival, billed as “America’s Great Paint-out,” brings invited artists into its heart for ten days each May, into an area rich with its own culture, into a setting vivid and rare.

The Setting
Picture Highway 98, running along the coast on the Florida panhandle.  Between Carrabelle to the east and Mexico Beach to the west, coastal fishing towns —Eastpoint, Apalachicola, Port St Joe—slow your progress just enough to take in wide expanses of tranquil bays, inlets, and nutrient rich rivers.  Views of vast marshlands or the breaking waves of the Gulf of Mexico disappear into dense pine woods for dozens of miles until you come back into the light again, rolling through yet another working village and on, along the causeways and bridges, where the road often adds a flounce of sea along its shoulders.


Joe Taylor, left, Kerry and Pollyanne, right, at the reception desk

The Facilitators
Note the people, too.  Two hundred and fifty volunteers make this major event work for the Forgotten Coast Cultural Coalition;  they power through eighty-two miles’ worth of venues.

Panel discussions, one-on-ones, receptions and artist demos are scattered all along this stretch of highway.  The artists have infinite subjects:  working shrimp boats, white-sand beaches, sailboats half afloat, shotgun homes, and shady vintage porches wait their turns.

Completed paintings flood into the Joe, the wetroom in Port St. Joe, where one of the lead volunteers and Vice President of the Coalition, Joe Taylor, explained that, just as Apalachicola is known as “Apalach,” Port St. Joe is called the “Joe” by locals.  The refurbished storefront also known as the “Joe” is new home to the event, a labor of love for Council president Susan Bassett, who negotiated the lease with an offer to purchase option.

The Coalition’s mission is the advancement of culture through art enrichment and community involvement.  Invited artists are charged with sharing knowledge, answering questions, and inspiring conversations.

The Judging
Panel discussions were led by Lori Putnam, who was also tasked with judging.  Her presentation on the subject began by urging artists to consider “going pro,” and allowing more new artists to compete in open class, citing the difficulties she encounters in the process of recognizing and awarding newer talent.

Putnam’s open class selections are based on strong patterns of light and dark—and the use of warms and cools for both—as well as design and drawing skill, hard and soft edges, mood, and details that are not overdone.  “Tight,” she said, “but not tiring.”

Her professional class selections are based on more stringent criteria, such as how a painting leads the eye through itself.  She likes to see artists who break the rules, but with subtlety and strength in their compositions, and she urges abstraction first.  “Tell a lie,” she said, “and make it work, but no corny stuff.”  Painters in the audience were encouraged to “bother” the invited and the “Florida’s Finest” ambassador artists wherever they found them and, for growth, to watch them paint.


Tony Robinson with a few of his paintings

A Sampling of the Artists
One of the panel discussions Lori Putnam led included Tony Robinson, Debra Huse, Mark Fehlman, and Nancie King Mertz, on the art of storytelling through plein air painting.  Putnam drew the artists out through a series of questions, getting their backgrounds, painting preferences, and humorous events from each.

Tony Robinson, who lives in Ireland, likes to paint alleys and bars, and is drawn to people, who often populate his paintings.  His mid-summer “Art in the Open” (www.artintheopen.org) festival, held in southeast Ireland was an effort, he said, “to find artists who did this gritty plein air thing.”  His painting advice includes “going for the particular,” and he urges newcomers to find perspective simply, by using overlapping shapes.

Debra Huse, an Indianapolis native, grew up drawing at the Indy 500.  She now lives in California and works out of a studio in a boatyard.  She loves boats and their histories, and was moved by Alabama shrimpers who spent an hour talking with her during the Forgotten Coast event.

Mark Fehlman always wanted to be an architect, and learned to draw in a way that allowed clients to trust him, thus moving his design forward.  Now a full-time California artist, he said he’d be fulfilled just painting the houses of Apalachicola, that he tries to find beauty or a message in everything he looks at, and aims to “present them as elegant.”

Nancie King Mertz, of Chicago, took an architecture class in college, and she said that she’s fascinated by light and shadow in structures, especially bridges.  “The rustier, the better,” she said.  In response to Putnam’s final question, asking artists how they felt about the concept of artists as historians, she agreed.  “We are historians in some respects,” she said, noting disappearing landmark structures in Chicago.

Fehlman spoke on the humanity and variety of old houses on the Forgotten Coast, and referred to artists as “the chroniclers of history.”  Huse spoke of honoring the old boats before they’re gone, and the changes she’s noted in vanishing landscapes.  She feels that plein air painting adds to the community and the conversations found within it.

Robinson does not think of himself as a “recordist,” at least not consciously.  He agrees that his work has some of that effect, but believes that he doesn’t have answers about the importance of what it is that he does.

The Results
On Sunday, May 13th, the Joe was decked out.  Goblets and plates alike were colored in jewel tones—fruit, fish, and pastries reflecting the rich and abundant paintings.

Joe Taylor, adjusting a microphone for one of the final presenters, made time to tell me:  “Encourage people to come.”

Go to www.forgottencoastenpleinair.com and click on “Art” to view the work.


How to Make a Market Bag…Plain or Fancy

…Or a road-trip bag, knitting/crochet bag, or gift bag.  Only basic sewing skills are needed.  Really.

Here’s the simple design, using folded paper.  You can make any size of bag by making sure that the length of each “B” =  half the length of “A” plus a half-inch.

And here is my overused homemade pattern, below, with a second photo showing what the folded fabric you’ll cut looks like when opened.  The bottom edge is placed on the fold of the fabric, as you’ll see next….


I’ve cut the inner and outer shells first, then cut quilted cotton to use as an interfacing.  Above the cut-out rectangles, notice that each side flap is about a half-inch wider than half of what will become the bottom of the bag–which allows for the side seams.  (The length of each “B” =  half the length of “A” plus a half-inch, as in the paper bag example.)

Use your pattern again to cut out the interior pocket lengths–quilted fabric can be added as interfacing, as in the following photo, but you could just double a sturdy fabric–such as canvas or duck, for use as interior pockets.

  Next, I pin the pockets where I want to sew them, leaving an inch and a half below each pocket strip, so the pockets are near the bottom of the bag.  Then I spaced and pinned the pockets on both sides about equally–with four pockets per side.

Sew around the entire pocket strip, turning the fabric and sewing up–and then back down–each of the individual pocket seams (I pause and add some extra stitching at the top, where the opening of the pocket might get heavier use), and then continue  along the bottom until I get to the next pocket seam.

After the pockets are sewn on, place the (backside) edges of one side of the bag together, pin, and sew.  Next, open the seams and tack down those seam edges.

Do the same to the other side, then flatten the bottom edges and sew those closed.


Using the remaining fabric, decide on the length of fabric straps.  If you’re short on fabric, use the rectangular scrap fabric to make fabric tabs for four “d” rings, and buy handles at a craft shop.  (I used scraps, and made a fabric tab to hold a brass ring in the finished bag photo.)

By the way, I cut the quilted interfacing for the handle straps short on both ends–it makes it easier to sew the finished straps into three layers of fabric–plus trim!

Next, sew the interfacing all around the outer shell (this step can be done to either the inner or outer shell), and then pin and sew sides as before, with seams facing inside and tacked down.  Sew the bottom edges together next.  At this point, I turned over and tacked down the top edges, pinned piping trim and handles on (centered, about six inches strap-to-strap on either side).

Sew it all down–it’ll make it easier to handle once you join the inner and outer shells.

Insert the inner shell into the outer, and find the bottom corners, fitting tightly together and pinning, then sew them down before moving on, to fit and pin the top of the bag.  Before sewing the tops together, add any extras–like a key tag.  Then sew around the top several times.  Use a pattern or simply follow previous seams, but do get right to the top under the trim at least once, so the inner and outer bag edges meet well.

  Last, a stabilizing bottom pad can really help.  For this bag, I’ve cut out the same interior fabric, folded it to the size of the interior of the bottom, sewn it–leaving an opening–and inserted a cut-to-size piece of styrofoam.  (I got the end of a roll from a pool supply company for this purpose, but you can use any stiff, recycled material that will hold its shape and stand up to hand washing.  I’ve used cut, stained, and varnished veneer hardwood in the past, and skipped the fabric cover.)  In this case, I slipped the styrofoam in its pouch, sewed down the edges all around, and then sewed a tacking cross in the center of the finished support.

Total time:  about six to eight hours.


Seafoam Medium Market Bag

IPAPA Visits Owen County, Indiana, May 3

Owen County Art Guild Studio Tour to Include Indiana Plein Air Painters Association (IPAPA) Members

The second annual Owen County self-guided studio tour will offer an opportunity for the public to see the work of gifted local—as well as statewide—professional artists on Saturday, May 3rd, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Members of the Indiana Plein Air Painters Association have been invited to participate in a special en plein air event as a part of the studio tour.  Painting and exhibiting at Hill House Arts Retreat, DSCN0489IPAPA members include Vivian Gladden, Katrina West, and Sharon Teal, all of Indianapolis, and Daryl Urig, of Cincinnati, Ohio.  The artists will set up their easels in the open air to paint and answer questions from the public and, on the day of the tour, their work will be available for sale in the Hill House studio.  Light refreshments will be served to tour participants.

Local Owen County artists whose studios will open to the public include guild members Ellen Cramer, John McMullen, Leslie Nieves, Ruth Hayes, Naomi Dickey, and James Brown.

Leanna Arnold, Andersen's Fall- A Real Fairytale

Leanna Arnold, Andersen’s Fall- A Real Fairytale

At Hill House Retreat, Leanna Arnold, an Owen County conceptual realist/abstract artist, and Laura Bybee, the Hill House hostess, will paint en plein air with the IPAPA guest artists.

Owen County Studio Tour tickets will be sold at the Owen County Art Guild, 199 West Cooper Street, Spencer, at a cost of $5 per person (no tickets are needed for children under 6) to benefit Owen County arts programming, and will include a map and directions to participating local artists’ studios, including Hill House Arts Retreat.  The guild’s phone number is  812-829-1877.

Vivian Gladden, Fall Creek

Vivian Gladden, Fall Creek

Vivian Gladden was featured in the Spencer Evening World last spring and summer, painting with another IPAPA group on a farm near Porter Ridge.  She is a regular exhibitor at the State Fair, and has exhibited most recently in Indianapolis, at the City Gallery and at the Harrison Center for the Arts.  Three of her paintings are included in IPAPA’s recently published “Painting Indiana III:  Heritage of Place.”  Examples of her work can be seen, too, at http://www.viviangladden.com.

Daryl Urig

Daryl Urig

Daryl Urig exhibits in numerous galleries across the country including Ft. Wayne, Hilton Head, Chicago, Cincinnati, and Utah, and is noted for his workshops.  His schedule for 2014 includes locations up and down the East Coast, in Cincinnati, a weekend retreat in Metamora, Indiana, as well as a two-week course in Terni, north of Rome, Italy, in the region of Umbria.  Daryl’s approach is both academic—due to his university experience—as well as focused on the individual, making visual self-expression accessible to everyone.  His books, Plein Air Painting for Everyone and Painting Knife Explained, are available at http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Plein_Air.

Book:  Painting Knife Explained

Book: Painting Knife Explained

He is also a proponent of using walnut oil and natural paints made from vegetable oils;  his work, blog, and schedule can be seen on his website, http://www.darylurig.com.

Katrina West, The Dance of the Trees

Katrina West, The Dance of the Trees

Katrina West works in acrylic, pastel, watercolor, and oils.  She specializes in plein air and portrait painting, and exhibited most recently at City Gallery, in Indianapolis.  When she was a young student at the Herron School of Art her style was abstract but, she said, “I have returned to my roots, recreating the effects of light on the natural form.”  She is passionate about catching the light in her work, examples of which can be seen at multiple online sites including http://www.katrinawestartist.com.

Sharon Teal, View from a Rose Garden

Sharon Teal, View from a Rose Garden

Sharon Teal specializes in landscapes and portraits. She has exhibited in numerous juried shows in and around the Indianapolis area. She takes a contemporary approach to plein air painting, utilizing a variety of paint application methods. She can be reached by email at steal@indy.rr.com.

IPAPA is a statewide organization of plein air painters dedicated to the appreciation of Indiana landscape painting;  information is available online at http://www.inpainters.org.  Hill House Arts Retreat, a furnished residence designed to serve the arts, is online at http://www.hillhouseretreat.com.


Art Works for the Volunteers of the Owen County Art Guild

Art Guild Volunteers#1“It’s for the kids,” Ed O’Brien said, when asked why he volunteered at the Owen County Art Guild.

Pat Gregory, another member-volunteer, added, “Art in schools is offered less, which makes it even more important to help keep the art guild open.  Volunteers are needed to help make that happen.”

The group photo shown here includes guild volunteers on hand for the final Owen County Art Guild luncheon of 2013.  There are more members who help but were unavailable for this photo, and some of those pictured do double duty, donating their time to the childrens’ CHAOS art classes, hanging artwork, or doing any job that needs attention.

From left:  (Seated)  Pat Gregory, Ellen Davies, BJ Bennett, Terry Urban;  (Standing)  Fred Bennett, Jillian Barnes, Steve Corns, John Schrock, Becky Schrock, Ed O’Brien

“My first first experience at the guild,” Pat continued, “was a very warm welcome from BJ Bennett, who showed me around and encouraged me to come and experience what goes on.  Because of the encouragement and help I received, I want to give back so others may have a wonderful experience also, learning and creating different types of art from a great group of people.”

Answers to why members volunteer were as diverse as the membership itself.  Becky Schrock, whose husband, John, takes over leadership of the guild in 2014, said, “While the majority of the members who create are painters, we are all supported there.  I volunteer because I believe in the mission of the guild.  There are no employees, so everything from an article in the paper to cleaning, yard work, and organizing events must be done.  So, I do my part.  I want the guild to grow.”

The local guild was formed in 1963 with seventeen charter members.  Charlotte Allbritten  served as its first president, and members moved resolutely toward  the goal of opening a gallery.  They believed that Owen County was home to many superb artists, and that those artists’ works should be seen and appreciated.  In the late sixties, after meeting for several years in the homes of its members, the guild found its first home in the historic Robinson House in downtown Spencer, which opened its doors as a Civic Center.  In the early 1990s, under the leadership of then-president Jim Hamann, the guild was able to move into a former canoe rental business on the banks of the West Fork of White River.  Since then, volunteers have applied years of sweat equity and any funds acquired—including those from the guild’s popular homemade lunches—to improve, renovate, and enhance its offerings and its facility.

Today, in 2013, the guild is in its fiftieth year of service.  BJ Bennett, the current president, said, “I serve the guild because art can be a powerful healing force emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually.  The guild is a vehicle for offering that to the community.”  BJ’s husband, Fred, is the current guild treasurer, about whom BJ says, “He searches for grants, researches techniques for the artists, networks.  He fuels the entire thing.”

Fred Bennett takes a more modest tack:  “It’s an honor,” he said, “to be at the guild, to be around people who are so gifted, filled with such creativity and beauty.”

Fred will return as treasurer in 2014, serving with president-elect John Schrock, who said, simply, “To serve is to help others see the beauty that surrounds us.  Art is both fun and a challenge all in one.  It’s important to all ages.”

The volunteers do serve, both literally—dishing outGeorge Thurston the home-cooked lunches that pay the mortgage—and figuratively, doing everything from mundane chores to the major repairs and renovation projects that George Thurston, shown here, performs.

Terry Urban volunteers her time on a committee charged with hanging paintings for the guild’s art shows.  “I believe,” she said, “that when a person belongs to an organization, she has an obligation to help support and promote the group.”  So, she lends a hand at anything that’s needed, as does Steve Corns, the guild’s incoming vice-president.  Steve helps on the hanging committee, too, and is happy to be called a “hostess” for opening show receptions.

The guild shows are inclusive;  the efforts of newcomers are featured as often as the expertise of old-timers.  And gallery exhibits are as inspiring as they are surprising;  for example, a pairing of religious icons and iconic dragons—made from cardboard tubes—was in the line-up in late 2013.

“I enjoy being a member of the guild,” Becky Schrock said, “because I have the opportunity to be around other creative people.  We have some amazing traditional artists, but we also have potters, jewelry makers, artists in glass and textiles, photographers and woodworkers.  But the facet of the guild I’m most proud of is the different levels of ability in our guild members.”

“It’s really about camaraderie and laughter,” BJ Bennett, who will continue in service to the guild as its 2014 secretary, added.  “And about believing in community fulfillment.  I think that everyone who comes shares Becky’s thoughts that they just really enjoy being with other creative folks in a truly nonjudgmental, accepting, supportive environment.”

Art Works for Lisa Shelton

Lisa SheltonLisa Shelton’s self-portrait, All Dressed Up, is her first attempt at portraiture.  The canvas version and the real Lisa are shown here on a cold November day, outside the Owen County Art Guild.  Although she’s been an artist all her life, Lisa began painting only a year ago and All Dressed Up was done recently, eight months after she took up painting.

An oil on canvas, Lisa painted it using a “selfie,” a term used to describe a photo taken of oneself using a smart phone.  “The day I took the picture,” she said, “I’d been cleaning my house and had found things I’d forgotten I had.  I started putting them on—dressing up, which I love to do—and taking pictures of myself.  I used the selfie to find out if I could paint a portrait.  My goal is to paint a portrait of my late grandmother for my dad, as a gift.”

When Lisa, a pre-school teacher, joined the art guild, and then the Partners in Painting class a year ago, her artistic interests already included playing the cello, creative writing, sculpture, sewing, knitting, and photography.  As a ten-year-old, she remembers picking up a Polaroid Instamatic and taking her first picture, in which, according to her Great-Uncle Gerald, she’d cut the heads off the people.  Nevertheless, for Lisa, it had been the most exciting thing she’d ever done and, she said, “As a teenager, I got my hands on a camera that used real film!

“I love photography so much because I want to shareWailing Tree the beauty of the world with people who think they don’t have time to look, to see it.  I’m a photographic opportunist—I stop and capture anything that makes me go ‘Oooh!’”  The subject of Wailing Tree, a black & white, 8 x 10 photo, grabbed her attention in that way:  the tree looked as if it were in agony, mourning in a graveyard, in the fall of 2012.

“Art, for me, is emotive,” Lisa added, “it’s not aboutBroken perfect technique.  If a piece of art connects emotionally to anybody, it has fulfilled its purpose.  Broken, another of my oils, was my response to somebody—somebody I care deeply about—whose heart had been broken.  And I had the opportunity to see this piece of art connect with another soul.  To witness that moment—when my work touches somebody—is amazing.  It is an honor.”

Wearable ArtLisa also creates tie-dyed clothing, what she refers to as “wearable art.”  She loves the medium because, she said, “It’s always a surprise!  You bind it, dye it, and you have to wait twenty-four hours to see it.  It’s like Christmas every time I wash out a new item and see it for the first time.

“Something I love about being a pre-school teacher,” she added, “is that I am immersed in art every day.  I also get to share the love of art with the children in my class.  We paint, sculpt with play dough, write stories—it is a wonderland for the creative.  I had the title of the messiest teacher they had ever met.  Then, later, I got the phrase “you can paint with anything” attached to me through one of our in-services.  One of the things that drives me crazy is that, when you walk down a hallway at a school or preschool, and all of the art on display looks just like the one next to it, you know those kids were not allowed to express themselves but, instead, told how to do it right!

“Art is an extension of who I am.  I use more than one medium to express myself because, if you feel blessed with a creative spirit, why would you ever want to limit yourself?  My question to you is, ‘Why not?’”

Lisa Shelton’s artwork is a part of the holiday show at the Owen County Art Guild;  the guild is located at 199 West Cooper Street, Spencer, IN.  Her artwork, as well as those of all the artists featured in this series, can be seen in color online at http://www.lauraleffers.wordpress.com.  The guild’s phone number is  812-829-1877;  Lisa can be reached by e-mail at:  always2dye4@yahoo.com.

Art Works for Robyn Brown

Robyn Brown & her wallFor Robyn Brown, applying her artistic talent to daily life is as simple—and as complex—as building a stone wall.  She’s shown here with just such a wall, which she built recently.  “There’s a creative aspect to everything,” she said.

She should know.  Robyn has designed at least a dozen homes on graph paper and, together with her husband, Chris, carried the design process through to completion for most of those homes.  The two make a team that handles nearly every aspect of construction.  For the stone wall, Robyn said, “We brought four or five loads of stone, hand-picked from Hoadley Quarries, and Chris tumbled the rock, built the scaffolding, mixed the mortar, and hauled it all while I laid the mortar bed and set the stones.”

Robyn is self-taught in nearly everything she does—with the exception of one drawing class and, beginning a year ago, the Partners in Painting class at the Owen County Art Guild.  Most often, she finds her own answers intuitively or at the public library, building an artistic life from a series of thoughtful, self-reliant solutions to questions as diverse as home schooling her children to laying that mortar bed.  Her resourceful nature, in fact, reflects the pioneer spirit of her forebears, the historic Spring Mill State Park Hamer family.

As a child, she learned to love art by watching her older sisters, who exceled in painting.  For Robyn, it was ceramics that caught her interest first, and painting later.  Then, for decades, crafts of all sorts, projects with her children, and building construction kept her easel idle.  Last year, when she began painting again, her experiences in real life paid dividends;  her skills transferred easily from “cutting in” the color of a home’s walls to refining her brush strokes on canvasses.

Her acrylic on canvas, Frog Pond, was created by combiningFrog Pond 2 photos of lily pads, fish, and a frog, for use as subjects.  “I love doing the preliminary backgrounds first,” she said, “because it’s fun and freeing to ease into the details of the painting.  If it doesn’t work, to me, it’s like a wall with an archway that’s too small, or a stone set in place wrong.  You just re-do it.  You need to step back and look at a painting, just as you need to step back and look at a wall.”

DSCN2283The Wave is another example of her acrylic on canvas works.  It was inspired by a double-page photograph by David Miller, in a book titled Oceans.  “I loved it, and I had to own it—it was the moodiest wave I’d ever seen,” she said.  “A friend tried to contact the photographer to purchase a copy of the photograph for my birthday, but she never got a response.  So, I had to buy the book.  I thought it was so perfect!  I didn’t add anything of myself, except my name, when I painted it.  It’s as close as I could come to an artistic representation of the original, and the largest painting I’ve ever done—two feet by four feet—so it was daring, but not difficult.”

Her work on an earlier painting with a fog element, and on Frog Pond, had taught Robyn the technique of using a natural “sea” sponge to create effects, and it helped to build foam on The Wave.  However, when she tried the natural sponge on the walls of the home she and Chris are currently constructing, she was not impressed by its effect.  So, she stepped back, and started over.  Using a synthetic tiling sponge instead, watering down the paint, wringing out the sponge and rubbing it on the walls, she achieved a beautiful muted, old-world effect.

“Art, in my opinion,” Robyn said, “is fluent.  It runs through the fiber of who you are.”

Robyn Brown occasionally shows her artwork at the Owen County Art Guild;  the guild is located at 199 West Cooper Street, Spencer, IN.  Her paintings, as well as those of all the artists featured in this series, can be seen in color online at http://www.lauraleffers.wordpress.com.  The guild’s phone number is  812-829-1877.

Art Works for Edith Decker

Edith Decker & Santa RestingEdith Decker has done creative work—she’s a homemaker, a fine baker and cook and, together with her husband, raised six children.  She’s worn many hats but none, until now, looked like an artist’s beret.

A year ago, she looked up from a table at the Owen County Art Guild, where she was attending a writers’ group meeting, and noticed the paintings on the walls.  She said, “I thought it looked like fun, and decided to try it.”  She started art classes the very next week.

Edith is seen here with her most recent artwork, Santa Resting, an acrylic painting done on a recycled book back.  She admits to having a light-hearted approach to her subject matter, and often tries to find the humor in her work.  “He’s resting up, getting ready for his big sleigh ride,” she said.

Her first painting was In Bloom, an oil on canvas which she In Bloominitially didn’t like.  Barb Bauer, the teacher, insisted that she stand back and look at it from a distance, and Edith found herself seeing the work differently.  The exercise made her want to paint another canvas.

Bear in a Field of FlowersHer second painting was another oil, Bear in a Field of Flowers.  “It was hard,” Edith said, “especially the eyes and nose.  I painted it from a photo of a bear in the wild but, instead of portraying the background realistically I did it intuitively, and it began looking like a field of flowers.  I love flowers, so I used it.  I thought the bright colors worked well in this painting.”

Another light-hearted example of Edith’s work is In MyIn My Dreams Dreams, acrylic on canvas, which was painted from an illustration in a children’s coloring book.  “I thought my grandchildren—or any children—would like it,” she said.  Most of Edith’s work is whimsical, in fact, or humorous.  She often uses subjects close to her heart, like her cat—painted with a wide-brimmed, garden-party hat.

“I didn’t know if I could paint,” she said, “but I wasn’t intimidated.  People—like my kids—seemed surprised when I started painting, but now they think it’s a good thing.  I’m fine with the challenge.  If I don’t like something, or if I make a mistake, I just paint over it.  Barb is really good at helping me learn.  I think a lot of her.

“I can quit painting for a couple of weeks, and then I get the urge to paint again,” she added.  “I just want to go back—I really love to paint!”

Edith Decker will show her artwork at the Owen County Art Guild’s holiday show;  the guild is located at 199 West Cooper Street, Spencer, IN.  Her paintings, as well as those of all the artists featured in this series, can be seen in color online at http://www.lauraleffers.wordpress.com.  The guild’s phone number is  812-829-1877.