Artistic lake view

Published 4:53 pm Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The annual Art by the Lake show is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 20, from noon–5 p.m.

This unique opportunity to view and buy art is part of a progressive experience that begins with pontoon boat transportation from the parking area to artist locations. Catfish/chicken basket lunches, specialty desserts and coffees plus live music are all included in the $25 admission.

“This is the 11th year scenic Deerwood Lake will open its gates for this show benefitting Hannah Home Shelby. It is an eagerly anticipated event on the fall social calendar,” said committee co-chair Marsha Drennen.

Among the 60–plus artists, are two Shelby Countians of diverse style and execution.

Michael Wooten developed a love of drawing at age six. Growing up an Army brat, he later worked as an F-4J Phantom hydraulics mechanic in the Marine Corps and served in the Alabama National Guard.

“I am a layman artist, not classically trained, but I love detail,” Wooten said.

It is this attention to detail that has furthered his career in the niche of military art since 1985. First producing pencil portraits in limited print editions, many of notable figures of the World War II era, he gradually evolved to colored pencil, oil and pastel.

Wooten is perhaps most pleased with his portrait of Tom Hanks portraying Captain Miller in “Saving Private Ryan.” Exhibited at the Southern Museum of Flight, it earned him an unexpected top award. Another favorite is a portrait of his son, Paul, dressed as a World War I doughboy.

“If you saw my stick figures drawn as a 6-year-old, you would not say that they are superior in any way,” he said. “I still work and study to overcome challenges within each piece, but I am now much more cognizant of the technical aspects and better able to analyze a color or temperature problem.”

His current portrait work often portrays children in authentic Victorian or vintage clothing. Wooten’s extensive costume collection permits him to capture your child in a Shirley Temple-style dress or Kate Greenaway frock. He also has a large choice of sailor suits for both boys and girls.

Another show participant is folk artist She-She who paints childhood memories, life lessons and spiritually based stories.

Catfish-pond mud, hay and grass clippings, paper bags and Harpersville stone-ground grits all make appearances under and within pigment layers.

Formerly an optician, She-She has for many years devoted her brushes to embellishing doors, barn wood, roof or ‘critter’ tin, garbage can lids, gas cans and furniture with her bright pronouncements.

Speaking of her early canvas substitutes, she said, “God literally opened the door of art to me. He helped me get a handle on life. I never remove the handles on my painted doors.”

Early in life a writer of poems, song lyrics and journals, her writing transitioned into her paintings. Her artwork, She-She said, is incomplete without knowing the story behind it.

“Children are the ones who most get my paintings,” she said. She has taught art to third through fifth graders and classes in inner-city Georgia schools. Introducing children to Alabama’s state mammals, the black bear and the large-mouth bass, she points to her painting of a red-bellied turtle that happens to have five legs.

“This demonstrates what I always tell my kids,” She She said. “There are no mistakes in art.”

Sixty-five artists will be featured at the Deerwood Lake Art Show, from 12 p.m.-5 p.m. Sept. 20. Benefiting Hannah Home Shelby, tickets are $25 and include lunch, beverages and desserts. For more information, e-mail