Artist Deborah Hanes-Nelson of Leonardville, formerly of Florence, spoke with visitors May 4 at Gallery 101 in Marion about her artwork.
Hanes-Nelson only paints in watercolors. As a medium, watercolors are best known for very pale scenes, but they can make paintings that are as vibrant as any oil or acrylic painting, she said.
“I think it’s really versatile,” she said.
Hanes-Nelson had a couple of brushes with watercolors before really diving into the medium. Her first time doing watercolors years ago was reproducing a Christmas card her father received showing a train. She eventually took a class about watercolors in Colorado, but it wasn’t until she took another class a few years later that she got hooked.
Hanes-Nelson is a pastor in Leonardville and at three other churches, limiting the time she can devote to painting. She said she averages a couple of hours per week painting. She plans to spend a lot more time painting after she retires.
She has several paintings on display at Gallery 101.
“Every one of them has its own little story,” she said.
“Out of Season” shows a red-winged blackbird amid cattails. The painting is based on a photograph she took at Living Waters Ranch near Manhattan. Hanes-Nelson said that despite the painting’s simple look, it took a lot of time. Layering the colors to get it just right required a lot of patience, she said. All of her paintings include a reference to a related Bible verse. She selected Ecclesiastes 3:11 for “Out of Season.” The verse is, “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”
For visitors who like her works at Gallery 101, Hanes-Nelson will have several other paintings on display at shows opening June 1 at the Manhattan Arts Center and in El Dorado.