Pushing the Paint
Next up: Betty Jane Chatham
SPECIAL NOTE: I must apologize for the poor quality of photos. A couple years ago, several of the Starkville Writers were asked to write pieces to accompany the artwork that was going to be featured in the "Art in Public Places: Country Roads" exhibit that was held at Greater Starkville Development Partnership, sponsored by Starkville Area Arts Council. We writers needed to be able to see the pieces in order to write an appropriate piece. Some had portfolios assembled, so we received huge files. Others had a few shots here and there, and then there was Betty Jane.
Betty Jane's photos of her paintings were not the best. But that was more than ok. Cuz she's not a photographer. But she is a stunning painter. So please know that these photos do NOT do justice to her work.
Betty Jane Chatham has been a fairly constant presence in the art community here in Starkville over the years. Looking through some the past editions of the paper, I've seen her in several environments; at the library, in church, sure. But you're more likely to see her in "Art in the Garden" or "Art in Public Places: Country Roads"., Or in her truly indigenous environment: in her backyard.
Starkville Area Arts Council's FaceBook page has this to say: Betty Jane Chatham has always been drawn to the beauty of the outdoors. The natural outdoor light, where she does much of her painting, makes her depictions come to life. When she can't paint outside, she paints from photos or sets up still life in her studio. She has studied portrait painting, but landscapes are her main interest. Betty Jane will be in the studio out back of her home during the tour. Her painting, incorporating several media including oil, watercolor and acrylic, create serene, calm scenes that are a pleasure to view.
When I asked Betty Jane to tell me more, she just couldn't stress enough the joy to be found in making nature the focus of painting. Whether it's setting up her watercolors or acrylics, on her own property, gazing up at the clouds, visiting Tuscany, or painting the rose in her mother's vase; Betty Jane loves capturing that beauty on canvas, sharing her love of nature with all viewers. If you want a breathe of fresh air, come on Saturday May 10th's tour and be sure to visit with Betty Jane for a bit!
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