Weckwerth artist of the month at Barron Park House Gallery

Art appreciation and the mechanics of art can and should be learned at any early age. Fortunately, Shary Weckwerth attended public schools in Kansas in the 50’s and 60’s when Art and Music were considered an important part of education. She cannot remember a time when she didn’t draw, paint or create something.

Shary is hold a painting of hers that recently sold at the gallery, called “BFF (Black Flip Flops)” Submitted photo

Moving to Arkansas in the mid 70’s again put Shary in the middle of an ‘artsy community’. After her kids were grown, she took a beginner’s course in oils and in doing so discovered her medium of choice. Shary continued taking weekly classes in oils and took several art classes at the University of Arkansas in Conway. She also joined the Conway League of Artists, a vital group of artists with ongoing exhibits on Petit Jean Mountain, several business establishments in Conway, and semi-annual juried shows.

It was an exciting time but, more and more Shary found herself becoming ill after painting in oils. For this reason she stopped painting in oils for almost ten years. In 2011, she took a class with Mark Menendez, believing she would have to use acrylics. After hearing her story, Mark said it was the turpentine and/or mineral spirits that bothered her lungs and suggested she try oils again using Liquin if necessary for flow and Murphy’s Oil Soap to clean the brushes. Thanks to Mark, Shary is back in her element, painting in oils.

Shary presently belongs to ABUN (Artists and Biologists United for Nature) a group on Facebook. The focus of this group is endangered species and their habitats. Biologists furnish photos from which the artists work. The art is then made into a banner and the biologists can use the images of the paintings as educational and marketing material.

Shary is also experimenting with small watercolor portraits, which she posts on her Facebook page, Shary Page Weckwerth.

The Caloosa Belle is published every Thursday.

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