Karen Freeman, President
I graduated from the University of Texas with a degree in art but did not use it until I had the opportunity to teach at my children’s elementary school. For twelve years, I taught grades 1 through 6, and then moved up to Jr high and high school level art. Those years were as good as another degree plus a master’s ! Giving the children a taste of every medium and art form I could think of taught me a great deal! Hopefully they learned to love art too.
After my own children graduated and left home I began to paint for myself. Classes in Art History and Pottery at the local community college in Clinton, MS, kept me busy. I sold my artwork at markets and various venues in Jackson and Clinton. Six years ago my husband and I moved to Arkansas. I continued painting in acrylic, and doing some pottery with a neighbor friend. Joining CLA enabled me to meet other artists and have opportunities to show my work. My artwork has been on display at Art on the Green, the O Gallery ,and Moore’s Art Supplies. I paint from photos of places I have been. I enjoy sharing that place and experience with viewers .Hopefully they see what I do in God’s beautiful world.
Sheila Parsons, Vice president
Sheila Parsons has been a professional artist and workshop instructor since 1976. She owns and operates Sheila Parsons’ Art-Ventures LLC a travel/study painting company which offers classes all across the USA and in many foreign countries.
The daughter of an artist and musician she was always surrounded by art and artists and decided very young that she would be a painter and teacher of painting. She received her in art from the prestigious Pratt Institute in New York and has studied since then with the greats in the watercolor field. Her Mentor, Milford Zornes (1908 – 2008), NA, AWS, NWS tutored her in both painting and living as a traveling artist teacher. Most of her paintings are done on location or from sketches she has done in the field.
She is a signature member of Mid-Southern Watercolorists and her work has been included in Watercolor USA, Mid-Southern WC annual, Texas and Neighbors annual, Oklahoma National and other regional and national shows. She has had over 25 solo exhibitions of her work. Her paintings are in collections of the White House and corporate and private collections throughout the United States, Mexico and Europe.
In 1996, Sheila received the Arkansas Governor’s Award for Outstanding Individual Artist of Arkansas. The fall 2000 issue of Watercolor, an American Artist publication, had an eight page feature article about Sheila and her paintings. Her paintings have been published in several books about watercolor. Sheila received a Lifetime Achievement in the Arts award from Faulkner County (Arkansas) Library in 2011.
She currently lives and works with her husband Richard Talley, three dogs and two cats in her studio home in Conway, Arkansas. She invites you to visit her there or on the web at www.sparsons.com.
Christina Blum, Treasurer and Co-Show chair
Christina’s love of art started with a love of nature when she was a child. When she was four her dad brought home a mass of jelly with little black dots in it. He put this jelly in an aquarium and they watched the semi transparent mass of eggs turn to tadpoles and then to frogs. She was fascinated with the beauty and complexity of nature and art became a way to express that fascination.
She took art classes in elementary school, in High School watercolor became her favorite medium. It has a beautiful transparency and can be loose or detailed. Watercolor dries quickly and because it flows it can take you in unexpected directions.
Art has taken many forms in Christina’s life. When her children were young she explored art in the world of finger paints and mud pies. As the kids got older she had the opportunity to join the Ames Brush Club and then the Tuesday Painters in Clear Lake. They met weekly and encouraged her to join Iowa Artist and the Iowa Watercolor Society. She took classes with artists like Don Andrews, Birget O’Connor, and Paul Jackson and became a signature member of the Iowa Watercolor Society.
She recently moved to Conway, AR and is excited to see what adventures await her there.
Carol Ebinger, Secretary
I have played with many varied arts and crafts through the years from knitting and crocheting to stained glass to calligraphy to painting to jewelry making. I learned from family, friends and a few sporadic classes so I consider myself to be more self-taught than anything else. When I retired a few years ago I began taking classes at the Arkansas Arts Center and picked up painting again, with my goal being able to paint portraits. I met that goal and am continuing classes in drawing and painting while I am working to find my niche as an artist. At this time I work mostly in oil but watercolor is a close second.
Richard Talley, Membership
Richard Talley is married to artist Sheila Parsons. After spending over 15 years in the Information Technology field, he is semi-retired and the Executive Administrator for Sheila Parsons’ Art-Ventures LLC. He has travel with Sheila on many of her workshops in Europe, Mexico, and the United States.When he is not busy helping Sheila, he enjoys driving his Mazda Miata sportscar.
Susan Peterson, Communications
After retiring from teaching in higher education in 2004, Susan tried her hand at making art. She first took a watercolor class with Sheila Parsons and studied oil and acrylics with Steve Griffith. She now spends her time painting (acrylic is now the preferred medium) and creating pottery, both hand built and wheel thrown, at the Innovation Hub in North Little Rock. She enjoys selling her pieces at various art shows in the area. She is a former president of CLA.
Tim Donar, Member at Large
Tim Donar is a published author and photographer specializing in landscape, commercial and aerial photography. Capturing the never before seen perspectives and sharing his passion in every photo. Tim’s book, “Arkansas State Parks” features aerial photography of all 52 Arkansas state parks and is the first published book dedicated to the state parks and the first using aerial photography. For many years Tim has provided fine art printmaking services on watercolor, canvas, and a metal surface.
Tim resides in Conway Arkansas and works as a solution engineer in the Vertica data analytics software group, a division of HP. Responsibilities include programming and development of demos. Through data visualization and finding effective ways to communicate complex information to sales and customers Tim has created a number of award-winning big data illustrated infographics.
Suzann Waggoner, Show Liaison
Mount Vernon artist, V. Suzann Waggoner, was born at the close of World War II. As America returned to a pre-war status, there were cultural and social changes that influenced every aspect of an emerging, new American lifestyle.
The excitement of these times was not lost on Ms. Waggoner. The cultural changes left an impact on her artistic development. There were new expressions of taste and styles in every level and decision made. From the old-world art masters, to the unfettered new world “masters”, art, itself, was undergoing changes that wee both frightening and exhilarating.
Now, art studies, in public schools, shouldered the responsibility of trying to teach old world painting studies with current-trending art forms. It opened doors, to art expression, that had both good and mixed results. It did accelerate Ms. Waggoner’s drawing and painting skills. Her work has continued to be influenced by both the old-world studies and the masters of the 20th century.
Ms. Waggoner has illustrated several history-based books with her pen and ink drawings. Her pen and ink drawings have been used in fund-raising projects, as stationery, and sold to support these projects. When the Cadron Post Block House burned, her artwork stationery raised the first $15,000, so that the block house could be rebuilt.
Her paintings have been well-accepted into local, state, regional and national art shows. She has won many awards with her detailed style of painting.
She is on the board of directors for Mid-Southern Watercolorists and is a signature member, diamond status, of this organization. She is a member of Conway League of Artists, and past president. Her artworks are represented in the archives, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C. She was recently awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award for Women in the Arts for the national society Daughters of the American Revolution. She is also represented by the Arkansas Arts Council, a division of the Department of Arkansas Heritage, and has four paintings in its permanent collection through the competition Small Works on Paper.
Shirley Bowen, Co-Show Chair
After completing a long career in television, Shirley is happily spending a lot more time making art. She sketches and paints still lifes and portraits and is currently working to improve skills in figure drawing and use of color. She likes to paint with pastels, gouache and other water-based materials.