By Sharon Wilhite
When did you first discover you liked art?
-From a very young age, I played at being an artist. My mother was an artist who, when she worked in the basement, gave us all kinds of things to create with when the weather wasn’t good… things such as clay and potato prints. She was an oil painter for years but switched to acrylics because her family complained about the turpentine fumes. She still paints and is part of an art group in the retirement center where she now lives.
I remember asking her once if she would teach me to paint. She replied, “I don’t think that’s something a family member should teach another family member.” I finally get that what she meant was that everyone should come up with their own way of expressing themselves, which all of her children did. Although, she did admit much later that she didn’t want her children becoming better than she was!
-Around the age of seven, I made collage-like greeting cards that I gave to others. However, I loved the outdoors and being outside in nature more than anything else. One project I remember doing was to draw animals that I had seen and then write stories about them. After my dad died many years later, I found them in his things. He had saved them all those years!
When did you decide you had a talent for art?
-My mother had taught me to sew clothes when I was a girl. However, it wasn’t until November of 1995 that I first tried my hand at depicting something from my mind’s eye in a fabric picture. After I finished my first one, I thought, “Is this a fluke? I’ll try it again!” My second one was of my house with me putting clothes on my clothesline. After that one I was just hooked! I didn’t know I could do it until I tried it. I thought it would be fun to do this professionally so I worked on it, giving them away as gifts, for about five years.
What were some of your first attempts at art?
-Paper mache Halloween masks! I grew up on a farm in Illinois that had clay pits, so we dug up clay and make all sorts of things with it. My mom just supplied us with stuff and gave us free reign to create with minimal instruction.
Read The October 13, 2020 edition of the Chariton Leader/Herald-Patriot for the rest of the news