Time to Slow Down
senior artists lead
next ArtTalk at Gallery 104
artists share their passion,
wisdom with the public
Helen E. McKinney
LA GRANGE, Ky. (August 2010) Bob Grimes and
Bette Decker are two talented artists enjoying their Golden Years, who
have no intention of slowing down any time soon. They will both be participating
in an upcoming program, ArtTalk, presented by Gallery 104 and the Arts
Association of Oldham County.
by Helen E. McKinney
Bette Decker lived in
Hawaii for 43 years.
Anyone who attends this program will learn a wealth of
information from these individuals about their work, the process of
creating it and the influences involved in the outcome. ArtTalk is a
new series of programs presented at Gallery 104. The Saturday, Aug.
14, program is free and open to the public from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. It
is requested that participants RSVP by noon Friday, Aug. 13, because
seating is limited.
Grimes has been painting seriously since 1955. During the Korean War,
while stationed in Korea and Indo China, he was aboard ship for nine
months at a time. He visited the ships library often, which contained
many art books. After reading Lust for Life, a book by Irving
Stone about artist Vincent Van Gogh, art was all of a sudden what
I wanted to do, said Grimes, 76.
He had decided to make a career out of service in the U.S. Navy, but
after eight years, he told his captain, I want to go to school
and study art. Grimes attended the University of Louisville on
the GI Bill for 1 1/2 years.
Eugene Leake, the professor in charge of the Art Department at the University
of Louisville, told Grimes he should go to art school where he wouldnt
be bogged down with so many additional classes that did not pertain
Art school changed my life, he said.
Grimes had a solid career teaching and producing illustrations for more
than 40 years. After retiring, he decided he could paint anything,
anyway I wanted to.
Many define his artwork as abstract expressionism, but he created his
own term for his work, Imaginal World. It sometimes looks like
abstract landscapes, he said.
He doesnt really plan a painting but rather does a lot of sketching,
which may sometimes turn into a painting. Ive gone through
different phases in painting, said Grimes, whose work is generally
not described as traditional. I want people to decide for themselves
what my work represents. I want them to see something different every
time they look at it.
Grimes said he has tried to avoid being influenced by the hundreds
of artists I have studied. I want to paint from my own point of view,
using my imagination and memory from observation.
While Deckers work is not as abstract as Grimes, her work
is very imaginative as well. She describes it as Eclectic. Sometimes
humorous, sometimes serious. As an artist, Decker believes You
should do what you feel like doing.
Decker works in acrylics and in collage. She has found enjoyment in
drawing, painting and sculpting since she was a child. Having painted
for 60 years, she also enjoys print making.
Bob Grimes relies heavily
on his imagination for inspiration.
I like to take photos and take them back to my studio
to work on a painting there, said Decker, 80. I use all
kinds of things and never stop learning. Decker has incorporated
all kinds of cloth and stamped natural objects into her work.
Her creations come from my heart, she said. Decker lived
in Hawaii for 43 years and was influenced by Asian Rim artists, and
the beautiful landscapes and colors around her. She attended Florida
State University, Cerritos College in California and the University
Decker was born in San Diego and lived in Hawaii for four years when
young. Both her father and her husband were naval aviators. Her husband
was stationed in Hawaii and the couple traveled extensively in far eastern
countries, where Decker was always influenced by the art and colors
While in Hawaii, Decker and two other artists founded the Windward Artists
Guild and she was president of the Made In Hawaii Association (a large
group of manufacturers of Hawaiian products.) She taught art to children
Along with her husband, Decker founded the Aloha Candle Co. which manufactures
ethnic Hawaiian candles for the tourist trade, and the Banana Bay Garment
Co., where she was a product designer and fabric designer.
Im obsessed by color and I love form, said Decker.
My painting comments on everyday life and how I see it.
After her husbands death, Decker moved to Crestwood to be near
her daughter. She spends six months of the year in Crestwood and six
months in San Diego. She is currently writing and illustrating a childrens
To make reservations for ArtTalk, contact
Gallery 104 at (502) 222-3822.
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