County Arts & Crafts Guild Art Show
pet portrait artist Coleman
to be featured at show
Helen E. McKinney
NEW CASTLE, Ky. (September 2004) Susan Colemans
life on the farm keeps her busy. When she does manage to steal a few
hours for herself, she can be found busily sketching pet portraits.
She began drawing animals two years ago and always keeps a sketch book
handy, which she described as a diary of her farm life. Its pages are
filled with depictions of cows, goats and dogs scenes she
might encounter on her and husband, Denniss, dairy farm in Henry
of Susan Colemans
pet portraits dog
This is not the first time Coleman, 53, has experienced
farm life. She grew up on a dairy farm north of Oxford, England. She
moved to Henry County with her husband in 1987 in search of farmland,
and what they found has become an oasis of inspiration for this artist.
Coleman belongs to the Henry County Arts & Crafts Guild, which will
hold its fifth annual art show from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sept. 11 at
the Henry County Middle School on Hwy. 421 in New Castle. Breakfast
and lunch will be provided by Brother Dougs BBQ, with desserts
by the Campbellsburg Womens Club.
Local artists will display oil and watercolor paintings, wooden toys,
baskets, primitives, painted gourds, jewelry, handcrafted furniture,
carved wooden bowls and a variety of gift items. Free art and craft
demonstrations are performed during the art show.
One way the guild is trying to add different features to the art show
this year is by incorporating an antique quilt exhibit. The art show
has evolved into a community effort, said Sharon Silvers, guild vice
People like seeing all of the local talent that comes together
for this show, Silvers said.
Although Coleman has not trained professionally as an artist, her talent
is evident. Working from photographs provided by her clients, Coleman
can create a pet portrait that captures an animals spirit. She
said it is most important to capture on canvas the eyes of an animal,
which becomes the focal point of the portrait. A portrait is not complete
until the eyes are perfect.
Coleman usually works with watercolor crayons. She sketches the subject
with the crayons and then wets the canvas with a paint brush, giving
it the look of a painting. She goes back and adds more detail until
the work is complete.
Her first pet portrait was created two years ago while pet sitting fellow
Henry County artist Emmy Houwelings dog, Bear. Having recently
received a box of watercolor crayons as a Christmas gift from her sister,
a trained artist who lives in England, Coleman decided to seriously
pursue her hobby.
Finding four to five spare hours at a time for sketching is difficult
on the farm. You have to find time or the farm will dominate your
life, she said.
Coleman said it is rewarding to strike an animals likeness on
canvas. Her portraits are 11x14 matted, and she charges $50 for a one
pet portrait and $90 for a two pet portrait. A sample of her artwork
can be found hanging on the walls of the Henry County Animal Clinic.
of Susan Colemans
pet portraits lambs
The goal of the Henry County Arts & Crafts Guild is
for artists to share their artwork, encourage one another and promote
the arts. Juried members participate locally in the Harvest Showcase,
annual Homemakers Bazaar and maintain a permanent booth at Cooks
Pharmacy in Eminence. Silvers said the guild is a fun group. They
are very enthusiastic about sharing new projects and ideas.
The group has benefited from two Kentucky Arts Council grants in the
past. This has helped the group form a solid foundation in the county
and attendees now come to the annual art show not just out of curiosity,
but to buy. Were established now, and people know who we
are, said Silvers.
Members of the guild give back to the community. Many of them teach
their crafts to others as well as create sellable artwork. Silvers provides
private art lessons at the Henry County Public Library two Saturdays
The guild meets the third Thursday of every month at 7 p.m., except
for July and December. Speakers have included Louisville Speed Museum
personnel and university arts instructors.
For information about Colemans work, contact
her at (502) 845-5190. For more information on the Henry County Arts
& Crafts Guild Art Show, contact Silvers at (502) 845-4560.
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