ARTIST Fran DeHart

I started painting relatively late in life. After earning a BS degree in Nursing, a stint in the Navy, marrying, raising a family, a career in the preventive health care field and being the co-owner of two art related businesses; I decided to learn to paint. I had always been involved in crafts but my real interest in learning to paint started when my husband bought me a small watercolor travel kit to take on our sailing trips. Discovering that I enjoyed creating with watercolors, I began to take lessons from Julia Peters in Greenville, South Carolina where we live. As I began to learn, I became fascinated with the unlimited creative possibilities of utilizing light, shadows, shapes and colors to produce a painting. In addition to watercolor I have also painted in oils and acrylics but my first love remains the transparency and movement of watercolors. Most of my paintings are realistic and cover a wide range of subjects including still life, landscapes, seascapes and portraits of people and animals.

The loves of my life – my husband, Sykes, three children and five grandchildren have been avid sailors for many years. Sykes and I split our time between Greenville and Oriental, where we have a house and sailboat and have been sailing since the early 1960s. We also have sailed in the Chesapeake many times and have sailed our boat to Bermuda and to the Bahamas so I tend to paint lots of scenes we encounter along the way. And I started painting people by painting our grandchildren and discovered that I enjoy the challenge of capturing the personality in my portraits.

My painting style continues to evolve and I love trying new things. Although I paint for my own enjoyment, my paintings have hung in three shows and I was asked to teach painting for a portion of three summers at Camp Seafarer in Arapahoe, NC. I am fortunate enough to have my paintings in private collections throughout the South and I am very excited to be represented in the ArtWorks of Oriental gallery.