Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

December 6, 2013

Glass and more

Life is a learning experience for artist Nettie Lewis

Lee Ward
The Independent

ASHLAND — The most important things to artist Nettie Lewis are to stay busy and continue learning.

That’s why the Pendleton Art Center featured artist for December is involved in so many different media.

The Grayson resident’s favorite art for is glass, but she also is studying oil painting under Andrea Prince, another Pendleton artist, and watercolor under Pendleton artist Lisa Walden; she also has attended seminars from nationally known watercolorists.

“I’m really enjoying watercolor,” she said. “It’s very intimidating but I’m learning how to get over that.”

Lewis, who said she often is reading 20 books at a time, admits she’s a bit hyper. That explains her avid reading and tennis playing — she plays three to six days a week for a couple of hours at a time — amid all her artist pursuits.

In her studio, she displays examples of items she has made for years — art glass, vases, paintings.

“The gallery glass is a liquid paint applied to glass lined with leading designs,” she said. “Stained glass is actual cut glass applied in specific patterns. The glass has to be cut and the edges ground smooth. Then a metallic tape is applied to the edges and the glass is then solder together to hold the patterned glass together.

“I work in stained glass and gallery glass on old farm house windows. I also paint insides of glass vases.”

She has added some Christmas-themed glass this month, but also notes she makes lightly scented candles and soaps, aromas such as lemongrass, lilac, pear and rose.

“They are all natural and made with essential oils, so they are not caustic,” she said.

She has a few melted glass pendants she has created using her new kiln, too, but her latest watercolor and oil paintings are not for sale.

“My husband said I’m not allowed to sell them,” she said, noting how much he likes her work. “My first watercolor isn’t allowed to leave the house to have prints made.”

Lewis, a 1979 graduate of Boyd County High School, became interested in art, like most artists, as a child, enjoying drawing and coloring. She said she also liked nature-oriented subjects and the way science included nature. As an artist, nature inspires her. She said her favorite subject to include in her works is flowers but her pieces include butterflies, animals and plants,

She first made art with pencils and colored pencils and still has some drawings she did as a youngster that she has fond memories of creating.

Lewis, who has an associate of arts degree from Ashland Community and Technical and College, also has taken drawing classes and a mural painting class. She studied pre-architecture at the University of Arizona and is an entry-level draftsperson and has interior design training from The Design School in Tucson. A registered nurse, she has been a housewife, worked in a medical bookstore and been on cleaning detail for a law firm.

“I enjoy painting in acrylics and oils,” she said. “I also enjoy crafting, decorative painting and some jewelry making.  My great-grandmother also inspired me to quilt. I have several quilts in my studio and hope to have more in the near future.”

Lewis said had studios in the Pendleton previously, but had to leave for health and family concerns.

 “I make my stained glass and paint my vases in my studio at home. I use my studio at the Pendleton for painting, crafting, and jewelry making as well as displaying my artwork,” she said. “I am thorougly enjoying being in the artistic atmosphere again. The Pendleton offers a unique place to display and make art.”

Also at the Pendleton tonight, studios will be open until 9 p.m. for the First Friday art walk. Music will be provided by the Advance UMC Handbell Choir. Second Look Saturday will be from 5 to 9 p.m. with music by The Project with Colin Milem.

‰The Frame-Up Gallery and Café Zeal, at 1436 Winchester Ave., will display the art of Harley Fannin.

‰The Highlands Museum and Discovery Center offers exhibits including “Dancing Through the Decades: 1920 through 1950” and  “Away for the Weekend: A History of Travel and Leisure.” This weekend is the museum’s Christmas Tour of Homes. For more information, call the museum at (606) 329-8888. The Highlands is at 1620 Winchester Ave.

‰The Jesse Stuart Foundation will be open from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday. The address 1645 Winchester Ave. in Ashland. For more information, call (606) 326-1667 or visit jsfbooks.com.

‰The Lamp Post Café will have open mic poetry from 7 to 8 p.m. Local art by students in the Ohio University Southern Art Collaborative  will be displayed and be for sale from 5 to 9 p.m. The restaurant is on the corner of Greenup Avenue and 15th Street.

LEE WARD can be reached at lward@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2661.