September 28, 2022
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The Muleshoe Art Association is showcasing local artists Dianne Brown and Joella Flowers at the Muleshoe Area Public Library this month.
Provided by Gail M. Williams

Artist Dianne Brown’s favorite medium is charcoal.

“I love drawing faces,” she said. “I love trying to get facial expressions. With charcoal you can erase, lighten, make it more intense. You can work with it until you get exactly what you want.”

In 2019, Brown, a member of the Muleshoe Art Association since 2016, attended a workshop in watercolor painting. She followed up with a class taught by artist Jon Birdsong, an award-winning West Texas painter who works in watercolor and acrylic. During the 1970s, a Birdsong painting was accepted by President Gerald Ford to hang in the White House during his administration.

“I was new to watercolor painting, but I really enjoyed Jon Birdsong’s expertise,” Brown said.

The class chose the theme of birds, and Brown began work on a hummingbird modeled on a magazine picture.

Unlike charcoal, Brown found that watercolor is not very forgiving.

“Watercolor has no room for mistakes,” she said. “You can mess up a watercolor in just a few minutes.”

However, she kept on with the painting with the encouragement of artists such as Ann Johnson, president of the association, and art teacher Martha Hunnicutt.

“They helped me finish that bird. They showed me how to do things to really make it pop,” she said. “I learned how to use watercolor pencils from Italy that made it much easier to get the shading correct.”

Though Brown doesn’t sell her artworks, she said her oldest daughter has spoken for the painting.

“She said, ‘Mom, put my name on that.’”

Joella Flowers also attended the watercolor classes.

“I was a total beginner,” she said. “The little flower was the first I ever did.”

Flowers was referring to one of her paintings that hangs as part of the display at the Muleshoe Library this month.

“Dianne Brown encouraged me to take the classes in watercolor with Jon Birdsong,” she said. “She encouraged me to go. It was quite different. It was fun.”

Dyan Dunagan, Muleshoe Area Public Library director, said Muleshoe Art Association has displayed works of art at the library every month for as long as she has been with the library – at least 25 years. A July Senior Citizens Center Facebook post shows members of the Muleshoe Art Association working on a flower painting project with senior citizens.

Like many organizations, Muleshoe Art Association stopped meeting regularly in 2020 due to COVID-19. However, they plan to restart programs this fall. The group meets at 2 p.m. on the first Tuesday of each month in the Muleshoe Heritage Center from September through May.

“We have a business meeting followed by a 40-minute program,” Brown said. “Guest artists give demonstrations from different mediums. There are so many different kinds of art.”

Muleshoe Art Association is hoping to revive their annual art show in April 2022. For information about the organization, call Ann Johnson at 806-272-5914 or visit them on Facebook.

Gail M. Williams

Muleshoe Journal Correspondent

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