As soon as Manon Adams saw colour pencil drawing she knew it was for her.
The Wyoming artist was living in Wallaceburg at the time. She had dabbled in painting when her children were small but decided she wanted to learn to draw. She was at Artist Bev Fish’s home when she saw a book with the coloured pencil work. “I said ‘That’s so beautiful!’ and Bev said ‘that’s coloured pencil.’ I’d never even heard of that but I knew that is what I wanted to do.”
So she began working with the pencils, sharpened to a fine point, realistically drawing everything from apples dripping with water to eggplants shimmering in a glass bowl.
It is not an easy medium to work with. Adams says pencil artist shade the canvass using tiny “doodles” layering colour after colour to get the exact shading, says Adams. That can lead to painful hand cramps after a while. “I’ve taught colour pencil a few times and people will say ‘No, it’s not for me. It’s too slow.’”
But for Adams, the intricate work is “a kind of therapy.”
Adams has also taken up oil painting as a way to expand her work and give her hand a break.
Adams favourite subjects are her grandchildren. She has drawn or painted each one of them on the beach as a gift.
It is the oil painting of her granddaughter, Megan, now 15, which caught the judges eye for the Sarnia Artist Workshop 50th Anniversary show which is on at the Lambton Inn this weekend.
Adams’ intricate portrait claimed the Wolfe Award for best painting and also was given a People’s Choice Award by SAW artist at the Presidents Awards recently.
The painting of Megan is being used in the advertising for the sale.
“It’s kind of nice to be recognized by the judge first and then by a peer vote,” says Adams.
Adams’ work will be featured with other members of the Sarnia Artist Workshop at the 50th Anniversary Show at the Lambton Inn on London Road Friday from 5 pm to 9 pm, Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm and Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm.