FARMINGTON – Heirlooms of Tomorrow will have as its Artist of the Month for February Margorie Austin of Chesterville. An open house to introduce her work will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 3, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4, at Heirlooms’ Art Gallery, 710 Wilton Road.

Austin, a native of Farmington, began her art endeavor in 1997 when she took an adult education oil painting class from local artist Joyce Dubay.

Austin said, “To my delight, I found that I could paint the sights that are everywhere around us, waiting to be noticed and loved.”

Prior to her classes with Dubay, she had taken a few college electives in art. She said, “Memories of those classes from the late 60s came back to me and have proved helpful.”

More recently she has taken lessons from local artist Ron Parlin. Her art is not confined to oil – cousin Janet Washburn is teaching her about watercolors and other friends are working with her in clay.

Austin said, “I very much enjoy the whole process of choosing a subject and having the freedom to do whatever I feel I want to do to depict it. Sometimes I like to take many photos of my favorite places and collage them together with my oils, inventing fill-in trees, fields, sky and water as needed … sometimes I take old family photos that are black and white and use them to paint nostalgic scenes.

“I also enjoy painting on location. However, due to the bugs, cold and rain, I often just paint a rough draft on sight and then take reference photos to finish the painting at home.”

Austin retired in 2003 from the Maine Department of Human Services and makes her home on the Chesterville Hill Road.

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