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New artist to have reception at Gallery 101

Staff writer

Janet Amerine has spent years trying to balance her aptitude and her passion. By trade she is a lawyer, but she really loves to make art.

Marion residents will get a chance to discover Amerine’s passion at a Meet the Artist reception at 7 p.m. Friday at Gallery 101.

Amerine is 65, an age when she’s been able to wean off her professional career in favor of devoting more time to her art. She uses a variety of different paints, including oil, acrylic, and watercolor. Viola Township Library, near her hometown of Conway Springs, is featuring her work in its artist-in-residence program.

“This is the first time I’ve really tried to sell my work, even though I’ve known it was worth something,” Amerine said.

Amerine graduated from Fort Hays State University with a major in mathematics. Even then, she knew art was her passion.

“My parents sacrificed a lot for me to go to college,” she said. “I felt like I owed it to my parents.”

She took all the art electives she could. She kept up her passion even through law school. The sacrifice made sense for her. It made dollars for her, too.

“I have earned a lot of money on that side of my brain,” she said. “But what I really wanted to do was make art.”

One prominent feature of Amerine’s portfolio is its variety. In addition to her different media, her style ranges from realism to abstract works.

“I get bored easily, I guess,” she said.

Amerine recalls painting a watercolor of a schoolhouse, which will be featured in Friday’s show, that won first place in the amateur division in the state fair. Amerine recognized its quality, but wasn’t satisfied with the ease with which she painted it.

“I thought when I finished it, ‘I could do one of these a day,’” she said. “I don’t want to keep doing stuff that’s really easy.”

She said she sometimes gets instructional CDs to learn and try new things.

Sometimes she gets hooked, though.

“I just get off on a tangent,” she said. “My entire room is filled with animals I painted from the Serengeti Plain.”

Amerine, of Conway Springs, said she heard of Marion’s gallery through two friends. She wasn’t familiar with Marion, but her friends had recommended it.

“They said it’s a unique little town that enjoys the arts and promotes the arts,” she said.

From there she got in contact with Jan Davis, the gallery’s owner.

Last modified Sept. 25, 2014

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