Looking to put more art in the community, Carol Mesey began offering painting courses as a relaxing outlet for all ages.
Mesey earned her art degree at Lincoln University. For 25 years, she worked as a publications manager for the Missouri House of Representatives.
Now retired, she is able to devote more time to painting and is excited to share courses in California and Clarksburg.
"It just seemed like it'd be a good way to connect with the community and give other people a chance to paint," Mesey said.
The California Nutrition Center held a painting event April 20. While others prepared for the Easter holiday, Carol Baker, Dee Butts, Mary Klien, Terry Higgins and Jan Kurowski made personalized paintings of cows.
Classes are led by Mesey and Eva Vanderslice. A fellow art lover, she began painting under Mesey last August.
"It's a good hobby," Vanderslice said. "When you want to get away from it all, you can kind of lose yourself in your painting."
She now paints full canvases on her own. With the skills, she looks forward to decorating her home, which saves her some money, she added.
Farm animals and landscapes have been popular so far. Nature is a fun subject because art can be unrealistic, Mesey said.
"It doesn't have to be perfect. If you want a perfect cow, you could go out and take a photograph of a cow."
"I think the more your imagination is put into it the more fun it is and the better the painting is," she added.
Most of the women attended the class out of an interest in art and an opportunity to have fun together.
"Our goal here is to get you painting on your own," Mesey told the group.
Higgins wanted to be an art teacher growing up. She said attending painting events allows her skills to grow.
Mesey also leads classes at Grace Living Center in Clarksburg.
For $20, guests receive acrylic paint, brushes, a smock and a canvas. Everyone leaves with their completed work and a few key artistic principles. Another class is scheduled for June 1, at the Nutrition Center.
For details, contact Mesey at 660-427-5645.