By Jackie Nelson
The Walkabout Gallery Art for the month of September is being supplied by the Wellness Center Oil Painting Club.
Four ladies, Bobbie Hague, Deb Ozbun, Jolene Ratzlaff and Hallie Rucker are part of the painting club supplying art for the gallery.
The gallery show features an eclectic array of art, from floral paintings to portraits.
“We have a wide variety of art,” said Rucker.
The group, which meets every Tuesday at 9 a.m., has a strong dynamic.
“It is fun to paint together. I know I wouldn’t paint as much at home,” said Hague.
Members said the club allows artists to discuss work and offer advice.
“I really find inspiration when we work together,” said Ratzlaff.
“We ask each other for advice,” said Ozbun
Group members said the dynamic is always open and friendly.
“We really don’t have any challenges working as a group,” said Rucker.
“We do really like each other. I don’t plan anything else for my Tuesdays,” said Hague.
For one artist, having a designated space for painting means more time enjoying the art than picking up the mess.
“It’s nice to have a place to put it. If I were at home, you have to clean it up all the time,” said Rucker.
Ratzlaff, who is also an accomplished local potter, said she was looking for another artistic medium.
“I want another outlet for art. I have more time and they were very kind. It’s for everybody,” said Ratzlaff.
Each artist not only has their own artistic tastes, but own style and paint preference
“I work in acrylics. They dry faster than oil. Oils can get muddy on canvas. You can paint over acrylics,” said Ozbun.
“Acrylics lose a little bit of color when they dry. I will use acrylics as backgrounds and paint over them with oils. We all have our own techniques,” said Rucker.
Despite having differences in techniques, the painters all enjoy their craft.
“We are all a little addicted. I’ve sold paintings over the years, maybe 100. You get some satisfaction out of painting. You start with a blank canvas and make it look like something else entirely,” said Hague.
For the newest member of the club, art has become a joint effort between Ozbun and her husband.
“I just started painting a couple months ago. I fell in love with painting. My husband will make frames for me. We are replacing part of our fence and he will use the old wood to make frames,” said Ozbun.
Family also played a role in inspiring Rucker.
“I’ve painted since the 60’s. I painted with my mom. I always wished I could paint as well as she could,” said Rucker.
Two artists, however, are more formally trained.
“I took some lessons in the mid-1960’s. I painted until I started working. I’ve painted a lot since I retired in the last 10 years,” said Hague.
“I used to belong to the National Society of Decorative Painters. I would get together in Wichita and went to Abersol’s. I’ve been to several workshops in different states. It was probably the 80’s when I started doing that,” said Ratzlaff.
The Painting Club will have art on display through the month of September. Several of the pieces will be for sale and all the artists said they would be available for commissioned pieces.