When Carolyn Reeder was in elementary school, she looked forward to Fridays because that meant it was the day for art class.
Over the years, the Northwood woman's love of art continued. She said in high school she was inspired by a teacher.
Though she quit art for a time, she has gone into rosemaling, oil painting and now watercolor.
Reeder, an elementary school teacher for 40 years in Hanlontown and Manly, said she always tried to do a lot of art with her students, as well, sharing a love of art history with them when she could. When she retired in 2016, she picked up watercolor and it has since been her medium of choice.
Reeder’s work will be on display at the Albert Lea Art Center through the middle of November in the newest show for the arts organization.
Reeder said she initially went into the Art Center with an interest in having some of her paintings for sale in the shop and was then approached about having a larger show with her work.
She estimated she will have about 30 pieces on display.
She said though watercolor is more challenging — with oils it’s easy to cover up a mistake simply by adding on another color — she enjoys the challenge.
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She starts with five or six paintings at a time, starting with one part of a painting, leaving it for a while and then going on to another painting before coming back to the original one.
“I think with water colors you have to stop and look at what you’ve already done and know when you’ve got to say, that’s enough — I’m not going to put anything else into it,” Reeder said. “That’s challenging, but I love it.”
She said she enjoys painting barns and gets inspiration from the barns she sees while out with her husband, her sister and brother-in-law. Sometimes she may use the shape of a barn she has seen and then add her own spin on it.
She also has a handful of paintings of landmark buildings in Northwood that will be on display in the show, along with her paintings that have been made into desktop calendars and magnets.
Reeder said more recently she has also taken on more abstract paintings of tall buildings with large windows and steep rooflines. She said they have grown in popularity, and she recently found success with these paintings at an art show for Founders Day in September.
She has taken some art classes in Door County, Wisconsin, and said learns something new from every class she takes.
“I still enjoy being a student and coming away with certain techniques,” she said.
Reeder’s exhibit will be open through the middle of November.
The Art Center is open from noon to 6 p.m. Tuesdays, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays and from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays. An artist reception will be from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday.
This story first published in the Albert Lea Tribune and is reprinted here with permission.