16x20 Acrylic on canvas
Queen of the Mississippi
In 1978, the week I put my youngest child on the bus to start first grade, I began to paint with a group of young women now known as the “Reidland Five”. The group consisted of Bea Castro (instructor), Gerry Marcum, Jo Bailey, Jenny Fuller, and myself. We would paint from the time we put our children on the bus until they returned home in the afternoon and would rotate the sessions between our homes.
Very quickly I realized that I loved to paint in oils. I felt it was the most forgiving of the mediums, and my favorite subjects were exotic animals and landscapes in realism style. After painting and learning for 8 months, we had the audacity to enter the Women’s Club of Paducah Art Show in March 1979. Then on May 21, 1979, we decided to have our own art exhibit at the Reidland Community Center. It was a great success and we all sold some works of art. What a surprise to me that someone would actually buy one of my paintings! Now, some of my work is in private collections in three states: Kentucky, Illinois, and Tennessee.
In 1980, I answered the call to the ministry of Christian counselor and put away my paints. Through the years, I still had the desire to paint but not the time. Only in the last two years have I begun to paint again. With the arrival of a new grandson came the desire to capture him on canvas. He and a new granddaughter have been the subject of most of my recent work. I have recently reconnected with some of my painting buddies and joined PAPA and paint with them on Tuesdays. I am exploring working with pastels and have begun working in watercolors again. My focus has switched from animals to portraits.
I have found a new excitement in painting again and I owe it all to the original group of artists plus instructors Bea Castro, Burnett Sasseen, Ann Ferrell, and Peggy Legreit.
Chickadees in Winter