A Brush With Fate

Preacher’s wife led artist into painting

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Andy Towle/Roundup - atowle@payson.com

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Andy Towle/Roundup - atowle@payson.com

Ruth Overton took drawing classes for a year, then moved into watercolor for several years before moving into oil.

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Andy Towle/Roundup - atowle@payson.com

Ruth Overton will be one of the featured artists at the Artists of the Rim Gallery during October. Meet her at the First Friday Arts & Antiques Walk from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Friday, Oct. 3.

It was all because of a preacher’s wife.

Ruth Overton and her friend, Bettie Wilson, were living in Kansas City, Mo., when Wilson asked Overton along to a drawing class.

Overton thought, “I can’t draw a straight line.”

Wilson, the preacher’s wife, said, “Balderdash. Just come along.”

And who can argue with a preacher’s wife?

“So we went,” Overton recalled. During the first class, the teacher presented a series of white bowls and told Overton to draw the lights and the darks.

“I said there aren’t any lights or darks. It’s all white.”

Today, Overton’s floral and landscape paintings deeply consider shades, with hues fading in and out, resulting in images that sometimes resemble photographs.

Overton, along with Conrad Chapek, is October’s featured artist at the Artists of the Rim Gallery. First Friday, Oct. 3, events begin at 5 p.m. and end at 8 p.m. All Main Street galleries will be open.

Overton took drawing classes for a year, then moved into watercolor for several years before moving into oil.

After 13 years of taking classes, Overton took several workshops from a well-known artist. “It was like starting all over,” Overton recalled.

Classes started at hello — “this is a brush.”

“I had started in the middle,” Overton said. The class taught her how to mix color, brighten colors, and make them stand out.

Today, Overton takes pictures and files them away in one of her four or five file cabinets that she uses to organize her pictures.

“It’s like a jigsaw puzzle,” Overton said about picking elements from photos she wants to combine in a painting. “Very rarely do I just take one photo and that will be it.”

When taking photographs, Overton emphasizes capturing the areas of light and dark more than she does color. Colors are more easily altered than shades, she says.

“I’m more of a colorist than anything else,” she says.

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