Ars Gratia Artis

Charlotte Dickinson creates art and inspires others

By C.J. Marshall

Wordsmith Productions

For the past 70 years, Charlotte Dickinson has been creating works of art.

“I’ve been doing it since I was 12,” she explained. “That’s a long while, because I’m 82. I’m proud I’m 82 and I’m lucky to have made it this far.”

When she was 12, Charlotte explained, she and her sister became fascinated with a 16th Century painting of horses.

“Our parents purchased paint sets for us,” she said. “There’s a lot of artists in the family.”

Another artist was her cousin, Dolf Ell, who taught at Kings College, and became a world-famous sculptor. Charlotte herself prefers painting, with oils her favored medium.

“And water color, but mostly oil,” she said.

A native to the area, Charlotte lived for the past 30 years in Florida, before recently moving back to Tunkhannock. Here, she continues to pursue her career in painting and teaching.

A professional artist all her life, Charlotte’s paintings have been displayed in many galleries throughout the country over the years.

She said that she and her daughter, Terry Proctor, who is also an artist, will have their work on display at the Salmagundi Club in New York City in September.

Asked if still has any worlds to conquer, Charlotte replied “Yes, I’m writing a book.”

The book Charlotte explained, is on painting and is “basically on things teacher’s never tell.”

Charlotte herself has taught art since she was 30.

“Most of the time they’re (the teachers) are too busy teaching technique,” Charlotte explained. “But after people have been with me for many years like they were in Florida, then they become professional and go on to understand more.

Painting is a real passion for Terry Proctor

By C.J. Marshall

Wordsmith Productions

For Terry Proctor, painting is a family affair.

A talented and dedicated amateur, Terry’s inspiration to become a painter came from her mother, Charlotte Dickinson. Charlotte has been painting for 70 years, while Terry has been putting brush to canvas for 45.

But while Charlotte is a professional who also teaches painting, for Terry it is simply a passion. Her medium is oil, which she paints in exclusively.

Terry is a local business woman in Tunkhannock who oversees a number of enterprises. For her, painting is a past time – but one to which she dedicates a lot of effort.

“I done the national shows with the AIS,” Terry explained, when asked where her work has been displayed.

In addition, Terry’s work has also been featured in various places locally.

In September, Terry’s works, along with and her mother Charlotte, will be featured at the Salmagundi Club, located in Manhattan.

Terry estimated that she had produced “probably close to 1,000 paintings” in the past 45 years.

Her biggest inspiration is her mother, Charlotte.

Erin Weaver wants a career in art

By C.J. Marshall

Wordsmith Productions

Erin Weaver is a budding artist.

Erin, 16, intends to become a professional artist when she graduates from Tunkhannock High School.

“I really became interested when I took Art 1 in ninth grade from Mister (Lance) Montross,” she explained.

Another source of inspiration was Erin’s mother.

“She worked at a framing shop and and she framed lots of art for the Met and all of those really big art places. She’d bring home copies – not the actual art – but copies of the art. And I would look at it and be very interested in how it was done. And I began to think to myself that I could do that myself, and that’s how I became interested in doing it.”

Erin has worked with acrylic paint, but lately had developed a fondness for working in oil.

“I really do like oil,” she said.

Her biggest inspiration, Erin explained, is her art teacher, Lance Montross.

“I do like to paint fruit,” Erin said about her favorite subjects. “But now, looking at landscapes, I’m getting more interested in landscapes.”

Erin also thanked professional artist Charlotte Dickinson of Tunkhannock, for providing instructions in certain areas.

Working outdoors inspires Phyllis Rennie

By C.J. Marshall

Wordsmith Productions

For about 40 years now, Phyllis Rennie of Glen Burn has been putting a brush to canvas.

“ I was always interested in art,” Phyllis explained.

A friend was taking art lessons said, and invited to her to the attend classes.

“That was the beginning. I’ve been kind of at it ever since,” she said.

Oil is Phyllis’ medium, and she prefers to paint plein air.

“That’s my thing,” she said.

Phyllis has had her work displayed at the Waverly Community House, and their group shows, as well as the Gathering Place in Clark Summit.

“I’ve participated in the First Friday in Scranton, and some other places” she said.

Her greatest inspiration, Phyllis explained, is being outside where she prefers to paint things such as trees and landscapes.

Plein air agrees with Maryann Williams

By C.J. Marshall

Wordsmith Productions

Although she’s been painting actively since 2002, Maryann Williams of Dalton has had an interest in art all her life.

“It was one of my favorites in high school, but that was many years ago,” she said.

What got her re-involved in art in 2002 was her friend Joanne Benson, who is also an artist.

“She belonged to a painting group that met every week and painted every week,” Maryann explained. “During a conversation she said she thought that I would enjoy it. But I did not have any supplies. And she said ‘Oh I lend you some of mine. And you can just try it out.’ That was one time, and I was back into it.”

Maryann prefers working with different mediums, depending upon the venue.

“I like watercolor in studio,” she said. “And I enjoy using oils for plein air. So I like them both pretty equally.”

Like many other artists, Maryann has had her work displayed at various places.

“I did my own show at Nimble Hill Winery. That was a few years ago,” she said. “I’m going to be showing in April of 2020 at the Abington Library.

Her biggest inspiration, Maryann said, is nature.

“Anything to do with nature. Floras, landscaping. And I also enjoy architecture of the yesterday – late 1800s, early 1900s.

Joanne Benson enjoys working in various mediums

By C.J. Marshall

Wordsmith Productions

​Asked how long she’s been an artist, Joanne Benson of North Abington Township replied “My whole life.”

“I haven’t pursued it actively the whole time, but growing up as a kid all I did was sit and draw.”

Joanne obtained an art major in college, but had to put a hold on it as a career because she wanted to have a family.

“In 2001 I started painting again, and have been ever since,” Joanne explained.

What got her started again, she explained, was a friend invited her to join the Tuesday Painters, a local group which meets on a weekly basis to paint.

“They paint at one of the churches on Tuesday nights, and somebody invited me,” she said.

For her preferred medium, Joanne said she is probably most proficient in watercolor.

“But I like them all,” she explained. “I do pastels, oils and acrylics.”

Joanne’s work has showed up in a variety of places locally.

“I used to do the Glen Burn Township Art Show,” she said. “We had up to 50 artists at a time at that show. It was pretty good. I’ve displayed at AFA. I’ve displayed at EMCA. I belong to a gallery in the Finger Lakes, so I display there.”

Joanne said that her greatest source of inspiration is nature.

“I like painting outside for plein air. When I first started, I liked doing people, but I’ve kind of bridged out now. I really enjoy doing nature.

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