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Artist of the Month - November 2013

Written by Shawnees Peacock
Arts Council Menifee Intern

Judy Irwin joined Arts Council Menifee a little over two years ago and has had the opportunity to discover her niche in the art world. “Joining the Arts Council opened up opportunities for me to show my artwork that had never been available to me before,” said Irwin.

Upon retiring almost 17 years ago, Irwin and her husband traveled across the United States for many years before settling in Menifee.

“I got into the art world through a strange set of circumstances,” said Irwin. After going out shopping with a friend one afternoon, Irwin wanted to buy a watermelon paper plate holder in the store; however, she was told that she had to paint it herself instead. “Never having painted a thing in my life, I replied, ‘No, not me, I don’t paint’, to which they said, ‘We’ll teach you” said Irwin. “That was my start in the art world.”

Irwin has now been painting for 18 years. “[I] can say that art opened a new door in my life,” said Irwin. “I see things differently now, the beauty in nature and the vast array of colors in objects.”

Irwin’s pieces are a testament to her ability to use a wide variety of materials and techniques in her artwork. “I would say my style is realistic and I use vibrant colors in my work,” said Irwin.

Irwin did Tole painting during her first few years of painting. That is a type of decorative painting technique that uses media like tin, wood, and other miscellaneous objects. But after taking a few painting workshops, Irwin fell in love with using watercolors and has been using that medium ever since. “I did oil for a while but was fascinated by the watercolors. I signed up for watercolor classes with Kathy Picket, who became my mentor and still is today,” said Irwin.

In addition to painting regular sized watercolor pieces, she is currently involved in creating miniature paintings, which she sells online.

Irwin continues to push herself creatively. She showcases her work publicly in the community to share her love for painting with other people. She hopes that others will take a leap of faith and discover painting like she did.

“Anyone can learn to paint, some better than others, but everyone can learn and enjoy the relaxation and the accomplishment of their own artwork,” says Irwin. “I would say to anyone wanting to paint, go for it!”

Judy Irwin’s artwork is currently on display at Arts Council Menifee’s art gallery which is open to the public at the Kay Ceniceros Center in Menifee.

“We are proud to have Judy’s brilliant creations on display along with many other pieces by local artists at our gallery. We hope the community will stop by and see how talented Menifee’s artists are,” said Bill Zimmerman, President of the group.

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