Mandy Weathers has a simple reason for selling her art to help benefit Friends of the Atascadero Library.
“I just love libraries,” she said. No surprise, as the artist majored in English in college in Oregon, primarily because she loved to read.
When she and her husband moved to Durango, Colo., to a country home with a 360-degree view she let loose with the artistic drive she’d kept under wraps since childhood.
Already a seamstress who made her children’s clothes and quilted, Weathers tried her hand at quilted tapestries showing the four seasons from four directions. She was soon quilting more landscape tapestries. A friend insisted she put them in gift shops, and hauled them off to Durango, where they quickly sold. Weathers was on her way. Shops and galleries in Scottsdale, Ariz., and Aspen, Colo., also carried her landscape tapestries.
That is, until the shop owners wanted her to start duplicating some of the popular scenes.
As Weathers did one-of-a kind work, and took pleasure in creating designs, she got her hackles up. For a while, she gave a shot at duplicating scenes, but soon realized “Oh, this isn’t really the part that I like.”
When she, her husband and the kids moved to Atascadero in 1986 she took up painting with watercolor and acrylic. She’s since shown in juried exhibits such as “Aquarius” and “Colors of Autumn,” as well as various solo and group shows. She’s represented by a gallery in Jacksonville, Ore., as well as Art Central in San Luis Obispo, and is involved with the Watercolor Society.
Now she has two dozen paintings on exhibit at Total Look Salon in Atascadero to benefit the Friends’ upcoming new library location.
Her work for the show will change, as she replaces works that sell.
In general, Weathers paints colorful scenes of local areas, such as San Simeon along Highway 1, the vineyards of Highway 46, the Lompoc flower fields, and scenes of the coastal Bay area, such as Santa Cruz and Sausalito. The couple has a boat they keep in the Sacramento Delta, and she often paints from the deck, her most pleasurable plein air painting.
When their daughter spent seven years attending veterinarian school in Scotland, the couple traveled there often, taking side trips to England, and Provence and the Riviera in France, Other travels include the Caribbean and Hawaii. In all these countries, Weathers painted the scenery.
In general, she paints or sketches on location, occasionally taking a photo to use portions as reference. She ventures into abstract a tad as well.
Mostly self-taught, Weathers has taken classes and workshops and joins with other painters, such as John Barnard. She was with him recently to capture the almond orchards in bloom near Nacimiento, doing a whole series of these.
She tries to paint every day. “If something is bothering me, I just sit down and paint for a couple of hours and everything’s just fine.”
Reach freelance writer Lee Sutter at email@example.com.