I Wuz Just Thinking: Where did the rocking horse come from?

Times were bad financially, and my husband and I got the idea of cutting out wooden patterns and selling them in stores around town.

While not being able to sleep, I turned on the television to the art channel at two o’clock in the early morning. While watching the different artists and their works, my mind wandered back to many years ago, about 25 years while taking art lessons from the local artist, Camelia Pace.

The art lessons came about in a strange way.  Even though I wanted to take lessons, always felt either I did not have the time while working full time and raising a family, and also the finances I did not have.

Betty Mahurin Baker

One time my husband and I were both without jobs and were struggling financially.  We did whatever we could to support our family.  Woodcraft objects were in big demand, and Jimmy, being a finishing carpenter, enjoyed working with wood.  A new small business came to Kilgore needed a person to cut out the animals and flowers that the owner painted and sold at Canton and at festivals in other cities. The business did not stay in Kilgore very long before it was moved to another town.

Jimmy and I began gathering craft magazines, compiling a list of patterns that were popular at the time.

I told Jimmy that if he would cut the items, I would paint them.  I promised to learn how to paint as quickly and as well as I could.  So with our last twenty dollars in hand, we contacted an art teacher about lessons. Mrs. Pace accepted me as a student. I was there in class as the lessons started and stayed until each class ended.

She taught painting on wood and made an agreement with Jimmy. If he cut out the wooden objects she needed, she would not charge me for my lessons.  The plan worked out great

She sold her items in several stores in Gladewater and allowed us to rent a booth and sell some of our items as well.

Mrs. Pace also taught painting on canvas with oils and acrylics.  In one class, she told us about a plan to exhibit our work. We could possibly sell them if we wanted to.

I began a large canvas acrylic painting for a child’s room.   The background was to be the sky with lovely colors of pinks, blues, and white clouds.

A little paint can go a long way.  Yikes, the red was too much, and I immediately began trying to tone it down with some blues and whites. I was using way too much paint.  Taking paper towels, I began wiping off the paint the best I could and thinking about the huge mess I had made.

After finally cleaning up the piles of paper towels and washing my hands, I returned to the canvas.  It had a soothing effect with its blend of colors.  A little rocking horse began to immerge from multi colors of browns. I had no idea where it come from or how it made its way on the canvas, but I sure was glad the rocking horse showed up when he did.

The day for the “starving artist” sale in downtown Kilgore arrived. Mrs. Pace asked us to name our painting and post a sale price on each piece of our work.

To my surprise, my artwork sold, and  I have always wondered who had purchased the “rocking horse” and on what child’s room wall does it hang?   

I wuz just thinking.

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