December 08, 2022

Watercolor artists visit Osceola

Four watercolor artists came to Lakeside Hotel and Casino for free watercolor demonstrations, courtesy of the Iowa Watercolor Society (IWS) and the Clarke Area Arts Council on July 28. The IWS also had a display inside the casino’s event center entrance during the months of June and July.

One of the artists present was Melinda Kabel, who is a signature member of the IWS. Kabel is originally from Michigan, and attended F.S. University where she received a degree in Commercial Art. She attended watercolor classes at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, and when she moved to Iowa received a teaching degree from Iowa State University. Kabel then taught at the Des Moines Art Center before a decade spent in Des Moines schools.

Artist Debra Garner is another a signature member of IWS, and was introduced to watercolor by a friend at age 60. Garner’s art is described as “fresh with movement,” and “colorfully creative with a modern feel.” Garner won second place in 2019 at an IWS juried show for her “Ferris Wheel at the Iowa State Fair ‘’ painting.

The third artist to come to Lakeside was Mary Johnson, who grew up in Nebraska and now resides in Ankeny. Johnson has been painting off and on for 30 years, pausing when she had children at home. She is a retired dentist, and finds art to be a “perfect extension” of her life.

The fourth and final artist (originally only three were slated to attend) was Susan Baer of Chariton. Baer holds a degree in art from Iowa State University, and is a retired schoolteacher; she taught for over three decades at Chariton. Bear is also a signature member of the IWS.

Several people attended the demonstrations and had the opportunity to talk one-on-one with the artists. Free prints of the artists’ work were available for guests to take home, including prints of watercolor paintings done by Clarke Area Arts Council member Mary Ellen Kimball.

Candra Brooks

A native of rural Union County, Candra holds a Bachelor's Degree in English from Simpson College and an Associate's Degree in Accounting from SWCC. She has been at the Osceola newspaper since October 2013, working as office manager before transitioning to the newsroom in spring 2022.