I took painting lessons in junior high, and high school. I have a Bachelor of Arts in Art Education from Frostburg State College, 30 credits from Maryland Institute College Art and a Master’s in Education from Salisbury University. I taught high school and middle school art and industrial arts for eight years, then stayed home with my children for about 10 years. When I returned I taught middle school/elementary school art (two schools each day) then Ridgely/Preston elementary (two schools each week). FINALLY I was at one school, Colonel Richardson High School – where I had originally started. I taught 12 years there including eight years of AP Studio Art. My parents, teachers and now my husband and daughters have always been terrifically supportive. Other art teachers in the Caroline County school system…Robin Westre, Kurt Plinke, Marjorie Scott and Nancy Quinn, were always collaborative and inspirational. And then there is Joyce Zeigler, whose studio on Tuesday nights since 2002 was key to the body of work that I have now.
I was born in Philadelphia, Pa., but have lived in Maryland for over 30 years. The beauty of the Eastern Shore inspires me to try and put on canvas that which I see all around me. I find that no matter how long I try to master the art, there is always something, some event or some person who can teach me something new. It is a continuous learning experience. I try and stay with animal portraits or landscapes where I can insert some type of “critter.” I paint people n scenes where they tell a story as part of the painting. I paint what I enjoy but try new challenges to see how successful I can be. Painting with and attending local art groups allow important critiques, to help me grow as an artist. My easel is always up and my palette is always out, ready to capture the moment.
Paula Lawton is an active member of the National Society of Decorative Painters, an international organization. She has traveled and taught for many years, both in this country and abroad, including Australia and Russia. “Decorative painting is very easy to learn, and fun. Everyone has in-born creativity, of which he or she may note even be aware. My greatest joy as a teacher has been sharing the excitement of this discovery with my students.”
I grew up in Alberta, Canada but have lived on the Eastern Shore of Maryland for over 40 years. I paint primarily in oils but have also been working in graphite and colored pencils for several years. Having grown up in Alberta, with much of my youth spent riding horses, I have always loved to paint horses. A speciality of mine is portraits of horses and dogs. Recently I began doing drawings in colored pencil, illustrating a child’s name with wooden letter blocks and animals, flowers or other items to illustrate the letters.
Jan Baker is a resident artist in the Denton, Maryland. She has resided on Maryland’s Eastern Shore for twenty-five years. She opened the Fourth Street Gallery in Denton in 2014. Jan has proven herself to be quite versatile as an artist. Her eclectic artistic portfolio includes graphic design, lettering, screen painting, as well as paintings. She is accomplished in several mediums such as oils, acrylics, pastels, pen and inks, and she utilizes a variety of painting surfaces such as wood, stone, and oyster shells, in addition to the more traditional canvas.