A Talent for Painting

By Mabel Jones Gabbott

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    It is truly a wonderful world, and woman’s place in it is wide and worthwhile. This is the philosophy of Nona Dunkley Fuhriman, who at the age of 55, when her family was grown, decided to return to school to study art and thus gratify a life-long desire.

    She enrolled at Utah State University in Logan, Utah, and was introduced in her first art class to painting in the oils.

    She had once said, “I’ll never try to paint flowers; they are too beautiful in reality.” But she soon found she was bringing flowers into her studio and arranging them in artistic bouquets. She found it exciting to paint them in oils and later in acrylics.

    Her creativity makes painting a continual experiment with her—with different mediums as well as with materials, for she paints on burlap, boards, and even date fronds. Some of the boards are left in their natural state; others are cut into various shapes and sizes and stained with oil, or covered with the base acrylic. When the painting is dry, she sprays it with a varnish.

    At present she is busily engaged in “mini” paintings. Using small boards or canvases (perhaps three by five inches or four by six), Sister Fuhriman sketches freehand the scene or flower she wants on the canvas, paints it with oils or acrylics, and sprays it. Some of these are framed in dainty frames; others are unframed and displayed on small table-top easels.

    One of the most rewarding aspects of painting is the association Sister Fuhriman has found with other artists. She enjoys driving around the valley sketching scenes or taking pictures for painting later in her studio. One winter she taught a senior citizens’ painting class.

    “The creative mind,” says Sister Fuhriman, “is always busy and enjoys sharing talents with others.”