Local artists show work, share wisdom

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 10, 2006

&8220;Every child is an artist,&8221; Picasso said. &8220;The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.&8221;

With every brushstroke and needle stitch, Bonnie Atchison shows she&8217;s resolved Picasso&8217;s famous predicament. A retired drama teacher for 13 years now, the Columbiana resident enjoys her days painting canvases of landscapes, flowers and still life. She said, &8220;I&8217;ve drawn all my life, then I was in drama so I designed and painted backdrops for musicals and plays. I paint on small canvases now, instead of 18 by 30 foot cloths.&8221;

Atchison also stays busy attending various art association meetings around Jefferson and Shelby Counties. At the meetings, area artists gather to learn new techniques or products on the market, &8220;So you&8217;re not stuck in a rut of the same old paints,&8221; she said. &8220;You learn new ways in which to do things.&8221;

As a member of Mountain Brook, Vestavia and Hoover/Shelby County associations, Atchison&8217;s skills stay sharp and she also takes art courses at Samford University, her alma mater, or with local professionals. &8220;Just being with these people that I&8217;ve been painting with for fifteen years is a wonderful outlet,&8221; she explained.

Staying active in the art community also offers Atchison plenty of opportunities to display her talent in art shows.

Coming up on Saturday, Oct. 14 she and other members of the Hoover/Shelby Art Association will exhibit their works at Heardmont Park from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The juried show will feature all original works of association members in mediums from oils and watercolors, to mixed media and pastels, to wood-working and fiber arts.

Many of the works will be for sale, though for artists like Atchison, parting with a piece may be difficult. &8220;When I&8217;m through with something it&8217;s hard to get rid of it. It&8217;s kinda like your children,&8221; she said.

Atchison loves to share, however, and her paintings don the walls of many Columbiana buildings including city hall, a coffee shop, the Jeanette Niven House, a church and both schools. &8220;I like to share what I do with others so they can see what can be done, and to encourage the young and older people,&8221; she explained. &8220;After retirement, people are always looking for something to do and they might look at painting as another avenue in their life.&8221;