By Vanesa Brashier
Nearly every person has experienced the feeling of walking through an art gallery and looking at some abstract painting, and saying, “I could do that.” A much smaller group of people actually attempt it.
That was how Angela DeDear of Liberty says she felt a few years back when she came across a painting show on KUHT TV 8 hosted by Donna Dewberry. Dewberry’s show created a new generation of one-stroke painters, DeDear among them.
The technique is simple – each outer edge of a paint brush is dipped in paint, forming a triangle of color on each side. A third color can also be added at the tip to create even more shading and highlighting.
“Ms. Dewberry has no idea how she changed my life. I watched her paint and thought, ‘Wow, I can do that,’” DeDear said. “I don’t even know if that woman even has her own show any longer but she was fabulous.”
The technique takes a little practice, and might not ever land an artist in a gallery, but DeDear believes there is no better stress reliever than art, especially artwork a person creates themselves.
“I say during my classes, ‘It doesn’t matter if it isn’t perfect or look like someone else’s painting. Art is art is art. Everybody just has a different way,” she said.
To call DeDear a late-blooming artist is fair; after all she didn’t start painting until she was 40.
“When I was growing up, my sister Dava was a wonderful portrait artist. I knew that was her lane. I certainly was not good like that so I never attempted it. Instead I learned to sew and do other things,” she said.
Creating artwork is liberating for DeDear because there are no boundaries.
“I see people when I am teaching a class and they look at a blank canvas and are terrified. They are terrified to do anything because it won’t be perfect, but it doesn’t matter. Just fill your space with color,” she said. “When you are painting, you aren’t thinking about the bills you have to pay or that your kids are sick. You are just painting.”
DeDear’s artwork now graces the walls of the Liberty County Children’s Protective Services’ Rainbow Room, where items are stored to help children who are removed from their homes, sometimes without a single item of clothing.
“I was lucky enough to be asked to do some paintings for the walls. They are inspirational, cheerful paintings. That’s the kind of stuff that gives me passion and makes me proud,” she said.
She has also become known locally for painting backdrops for photo shoots, birthday parties and other celebrations.
“For the CPS Children’s Christmas party this year, they are letting me paint their photo booth. I am doing a Christmas town,” DeDear said.
Repurposing items like furniture and suitcases is also a passion.
“I like that I am breathing new life into an old object,” she said.
Every year around the holidays, DeDear offers painting classes for private groups, sometimes meeting at her home in Liberty or at a local church. The classes are called Painting With Lovie, using a nickname she picked up from her granddaughters.
The classes are $25 and DeDear provides all the art supplies and dinner.
“I’ve had classes with as many as 18 students and as few as three students,” she said. “The church events are my biggest draw. Sometimes they are after Sunday school and the students stay after to paint with me.”
For more information on DeDear’s classes, send her an email to AngelaDeDear@yahoo.com.
To see DeDear discuss her painting techniques, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwFMjSJokdw