Art is all around at the public library

By John Maruskin

Four new art and craft displays at the Clark County Public Library  complement autumn’s radiance. The next time you’re in, allot time to wander about and view them.

In the Codell Brooks Community Room, Winchester artist Rose Swope has an exhibition of her watercolors.

Rose loves birds, flowers and water, and all three are richly represented in this show. Flowing water even plays a role in her technique.

Rose takes painting lessons from Lian Zhen, an internationally known watercolor artist, who teaches how to apply paint to the canvas and then manipulate its plane to make the color flow.

The technique relies on serendipitous patterns and forms. Rose writes in her artist’s statement: “I just let go of the control factor and let water paint itself. I laughingly say that one half of my paintings are a happy accident.”

Have a happy time viewing Rose’s paintings though November.

In the library’s reference section, quilter and needlework artist Joyce Thompson displays framed needlework designs. Joyce’s work is astonishingly detailed and precise. Some patterns seem drawn with Sharpies using a straight edge.

Colors in her Spirit of the Southwest design are so marvelously nuanced it becomes dormer shadows and architectural lines of her Lightfoot House Sampler make the image verge on photography.

For absolute joyousness I don’t think I’ve seen anything this year that tops the cow in her Reproduction Antique Sampler by Merry. Merry indeed. I walk by it a few times a day to buoy myself up. It’s on the old library table in the windowed reference reading circle. Feel free to laugh out loud.

Joyce makes thread sing.

On the left side of the library foyer as you come in, Cora, “the Basket Case” Barrett has a display of her handmade baskets. When I asked Cora what she wanted to say about herself and her work, she replied her friends call her a basket case because she loves to make them so much. She says that’s all anyone needs to know.

Indeed, they don’t need to be explained, they need to be seen. Her basket colors are primarily understated natural tans and beige, but she adds whimsical purple cane bows or red and green highlights.

What a pleasure it would be to use elegant baskets like these instead of bags. What commitment to traditional artistry Cora’s baskets show.

This coming Thursday, Donna Carter will present a holiday scrapbook workshop from 6 to 8 p.m. Donna creates delightful scrapbook pages and loves to teach people how to assemble their own.

While the library and Donna will provide some materials, attendees should bring their own album, 12 X 12 scrapbook paper, 12 X 12 card stock (holiday colors), holiday stickers, a journaling pen, adhesive tape, scissors and at least 20 to 25 photos (The more photos the better. They should be appropriate for your pages.)

Her class is limited to 15. Register by calling the library at 744-5661 or use the online Evanced Registration system at

If you’d like to talk to Donna about the class you can reach her at 856-905-0356, or by emailing

She will be teaching more holiday scrapbook workshops on Nov. 30 and Dec. 4 and 11. Please register for each class.

Also this week:

— Wednesday at 2 p.m., Kentucky Picture Show presents the Fem Film of 2017. When a pilot crashes and tells of conflict in the outside world, Diana, an Amazonian warrior in training, leaves home to fight a war, discovering her full powers and true destiny. Rated PG–13.

— Friday, Write Local.

— Saturday, Outside the Lines Adult Coloring.

You can see and learn to do some darn clever art at the library.

John Maruskin is director of adult services at the Clark County Public Library. He can be reached at