By MAGGIE SCHUETTE-VOSS
Painting well isn't all talent.
"It's a lot of practice and patience," said Annie Evans of rural Winsted. A steady supply of objects to paint on also helps.
Evans has been painting on anything and everything for 15 years.
"I first saw Priscilla Hauser paint the most beautiful roses and I wanted to that," she said.
Evans still isn't happy with how she paints roses, but wildlife is another story.
"I paint a lot of deer, and I did the wolves freehand," she said, referring to wolves painted on an ostrich egg and a cupboard.
After seeing Hauser paint roses, Evans picked up some paints, brushes and an instruction book and began to practice.
"I painted on wooden shapes you can buy, and when I got good at it, people asked if I could paint things for them. I've done everything from cutesy stuff to wildlife," she said.
She has found the best canvas to be things she can pick up and create into a work of art.
"I've painted a Santa on an old ironing board and a bottom of an old iron. I've done farm scenes on old milk cans and saws."
Recently she was commissioned to paint Santa faces on large figurines a woman makes and sells through the Country Sampler magazines.
All the Santa work is fortunate for Evans, as Santa is her favorite subject.
Evans gets ideas for her projects from other people's work, but the majority come from an "unartistic" friend.
"She comes up with the ideas and I paint them," she said.
Evans has been kept so busy through commissioned work she hasn't had time to do the craft fair circuit. Not that she is complaining.
"Painting is very relaxing. A whole day can go by and I don't even notice," she said.
Evans usually starts painting about seven in the morning and gets in three hours before she goes to her waitressing job at the Chicken Barn in Winsted.
"People come to me and say 'Can you paint
this?' It's the challenge I like," she said.