I am fascinated with watercolor paintings. When we met Darla Zook at the Harvest Festival at Silver Dollar City this fall, she was bubbling over with enthusiasm to share her love of watercolor. She truly exuded something Melinda and I discovered last year when we interviewed several crafters and that was a love of inspiring other people to be creative. In this post Melinda shared,
The people that are truly artists, people who really love what they do, seem to want to talk and share what they do. They want you to be inspired by their art. They teach others how to do what they do. They aren’t afraid of you stealing their work because they know it takes creativity and hard work to make it happen. If you put in the time and effort, then you deserve success. People who are just trying to make money are afraid of inspiring you. They just want you to buy their stuff. I choose to create for the love of it. If I make some money off of it, that is great and helpful to my family, but if I can inspire someone to tap into their own creativity, then I have accomplished something even greater.
Darla took me from one painting to another in her booth telling me about different techniques she used in each painting and gave me tips to try using in my painting. She even told me I could come back another day (it was nearing the end of the day) and paint along with her at her booth. I told her I would love to learn from her but not sure I was ready to be painting publicly in her very prominent booth location!
Darla grew up on a farm in Oklahoma with a very musical family. Now with a family of her own she lives on a farm in Missouri. She received her degree in art and music education and taught art for many years in public schools before retiring to concentrate on her own art career. She has definitely retained her love of teaching others.
Her newest art endeavor is plein air painting. Plein air is a French phrase meaning “in the open air”. She explained the unique challenges of this type of painting outdoors because of the constantly changing natural light on the subject of the painting.
Painting plein air is a recent endeavor which supports her artistic theory that the earth is a living, breathing sculpture created by the Master’s hand. Every day has anticipation of light reflecting on surfaces as the sun rises over the horizon and sets in the west, making each day a unique work of art, a gift from God. Darla’s desire is to illustrate that beauty in her art. ~from Darla Zook’s website
This was Darla’s 4th year at Silver Dollar Cit’s fall Harvest Festival and if she is there next year, I just might be bold enough to take her up on the offer to spend some time painting with her at her booth. Visit her website and be inspired by her beautiful work and if you see something you like, make a purchase. She also does commissioned paintings and you can find a listing of galleries where her works can be seen. Visit DarlaZookArtist.com.