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‘If you LOVE it, you’re in it

Artists display talent through china painting

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Taking a talent for art and turning it into a finely honed skill in the fine art painting of porcelain china, members of the Town & County China Painters organization love what they do and it shows. From left are artists Lola Miller, Debbie Cowherd, Jane Happy, Doris Mathews, Marilyn Forlow and Frances Barger. The ladies paint together at least once a month, often gathering in Happy’s basement. (Photo by Liz Johnson, Richmond News)

By Liz Johnson, Staff Writer

It’s more than a hobby, it’s a passion. It’s the fine art of hand-painting porcelain pieces.

The ladies who are involved in the Town & Country China Painters organization say they love what they do.

Jane Happy, of Richmond, started painting in the 1970s. She started and stopped – life is busy, she said. But she’s now back to painting with a passion. Talented as an artist prior to taking up china painting, Happy has filled her home with her own works of art. From paintings of an eagle, to animals to flowers to landscapes – her talent is unmistakable.

“Mildred Miller was my teacher,” said Happy. “She got us started.”  Miller has now passed away, but she left her mark on the artists she left behind.

Happy first oil painted on toile, then advanced to oil on canvas and finally to china.

“It’s more of a challenge,” she said about china painting. “It’s a different type of art. It’s just more challenging for me.”

“I was pushed into it by Jane,” said Doris Mathews, of Lawson. “She kind of dragged me along. It got me out of my shell.”

The local organization belongs to the Missouri World Organization of China Painters, which is part of the larger worldwide group, World Organization of China Painters.

The WOPC is headquartered in Oklahoma City, where it has a museum.  For the next year, one of Town & Country’s own has a piece on display in the museum.

Every year during Missouri’s convention, held in mid-March, the best-painted pieces are chosen and voted upon by delegates. This year eight were chosen as the best of the best and sent to the museum in Oklahoma City where they’ll sit on display until next year’s convention.

Frances Barger, of Kearney, has a 10×14-inch porcelain tile painting of a buffalo that was chosen as one of the eight and is

currently on display at the worldwide museum. Her painting will also be featured in an issue of China Painter Magazine.

Barger says she loves animals. She is presently working on a painting of two polar bears on tile.

“I’m better at animals than fruits or vegetables,” said Barger.

The complete story is in the Friday, April 1, 2016 Richmond News.

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