‘Warm Fuzzies’ take a road trip

Published 12:00 pm Friday, June 26, 2009

An art class led by instructor and artist, Alice Tillery of Chelsea, has become much more than a group of women taking painting classes.

For more than two years, the “Warm Fuzzies” have met to paint, share a lot of fun, support and encourage each other. The group consists of: Tillery, Barbara Robinson, Jane McKinney, Joan Pointer, Sara Richards, Gwendolyn McKenzie and Joyce Snyder, all of Columbiana; Linda Gibbons of Shelby Shores; and Sara Rouze of Highland Lakes. The name “Warm Fuzzies” was coined after the art class wore scarves made by classmate McKenzie.

Throughout the years the group has painted in oil and acrylic on canvas, wallpaper and glass for their homes and their children’s homes.

“Possessing artistic talent has never been a prerequisite (for the class), however, we encourage the lucky ones that actually have talent,” Robinson said. “Some of the ladies have known each other for a long time and cheerily accepted newbies to form a class.”

After each Wednesday morning class in Tillery’s studio in the Rose Garden Gallery in Mt Laurel, the Warm Fuzzies go out to lunch together. Occasionally they take road trips like the one they took to Demopolis to see the beautiful, antebellum homes and museum of the old Southern town.

McKinney recently bragged about her talented daughter-in-law, Itsuko, married to her son Roy. She told how creative and gifted Itsuko was in the decorative arts, and the Warm Fuzzies decided a road trip was in order.

The group drove to the Itsuko’s home in the Crestwood area of Birmingham for a day-out and lunch.

Itusko’s many talents were displayed on the front porch and throughout her home including Trompe-l’oeil, marbleizing, painted furniture and frescos.

Itsuko is painting an extensive mural at Sloss Furnace and the Warm Fuzzies plan to make that their next road trip. But until then, the Warm Fuzzies will continue to paint and fellowship on Wednesday morning.

Phoebe Donald Robinson can be reached by e–mail at phoeberobinson@bellsouth.net.