PREVIOUS ARTIST SPOTLIGHTS

Mary Timberlake

 

Mary Timberlake is one of our founding artists that helped bring Artists Association of Central Alabama into existence.  She is also a member of the Champagne Artists group.  

 

When Mary was a young girl she was introduced to art by taking lessons with Sarah Carlisle Towery.  She met with Mrs. Towery as a young lass of 8 and continued until about 12 years old.  Mrs. Towery was one of the Alexander City kindergarten teachers that taught lessons after school.  Mrs. Towery is now a major factor in the development of the Alabama Art Colony on Lake Martin.  Mary credits the fact that her teacher encouraged framing the student’s art and had her students enter juried art shows every year, giving Mary the confidence to continue a lifetime of art.

 

Mary entered Auburn University seeking to earn a degree as an Art Major.  Mary studied charcoal, forms, free hand composition and then decided to change her major to Home Economics.  After she got her degree she became a teacher for Dadeville High School where she taught Art Appreciation for many years.

 

Mary continued to take workshops and private lessons whenever she could.  Her love of oils, especially Bob Ross oils, remains her preferred paint.

Janet Gogan

 

Janet Gogan is a very talented member of the Artist Association of Central Alabama.  She has always enjoyed arts and crafts.  Her mother and her brother inspired her because they were very accomplished artists, but they also intimidated her a little.  She didn’t really blossom in her talent until later in life when she took an art class with her granddaughter and got bit by the art bug.

 

Janet paints mostly as a hobby.  Her favorite subjects  to paint are landscapes.  Her favorite medium is acrylics  with pastels a close second.  We are truly blessed to have Janet in our art group and be able to enjoy her talent and her wonderful friendship.

Rebecca “Becky” Mitchell

 

Rebecca, Becky to her friends, grew up in the Appalachian Mountains Range-Blue Ridge Mountain area of Northern Alabama.  She was surrounded by talented women in her family.  Her Mother started her off at the young age of 5 years old learning embroidery.  This led to sewing.   Her first project was an apron.  Using a Treadle Sewing Machine by Singer,  Becky peddled her 11-year-old legs creating her ruffled apron on this machine winning the blue ribbon for her efforts.  

 

At 12 years old her paternal aunt started teaching her to make quilt block.  This aunt supplemented the family’s incomes by hand quilting blankets and finishing toppers for others.  Becky also sewed throughout her school years for others as a way to make money.

 

Becky doesn’t ever remember not loving the art of cloth, thread,  and  embroidery.  

 

While she was working for an Insurance company she road an hour each way on a Gray Hound Bus to work.  This was where she observed a woman crocheting.  As you can imagine their friendship started and  Becky learned how to crochet.

 

Since 5 years old Becky has been drawn to the textile art.  She does paint on canvas but her joy is in making jewelry, clothing, quilts, and artwork using unusual items along with threads.

 

Becky has served on the Board of several art groups.  Today we are lucky to have Becky on our Board at Artists Association of Central Alabama.  

Sean Burnley

Growing up in the Mississippi Delta in an old 1920s farmhouse, Sean spent his time playing outside finding ways to be entertained.  Besides drawing, Sean was busy hunting frogs, fishing, and playing ball. 

 

Encouragement with art came at the tender age of 6 when his parents were told that he was quite talented at drawing.  That same year when he won an art award, Sean realized it was a great way to get noticed.  His holiday gifts began including 'How-to Draw' books which advanced his skills using graphite as he practiced shape and shading.

 

Sean’s 10th grade had an art program which he took full advantage of.  The following year the art program was cancelled which lead to him being gifted with an art desk, which unfortunately he realized wouldn’t fit in his home.  This led to his parents giving him his first true art table.  Then an opportunity to take art lessons came. Bob Thompkins, an oil artist in the Greenville, began teaching Sean in the summer and later at the public school.  In this environment his next encouragement was selling an art piece giving him that ah-ha moment that he could make money selling his artwork. He won awards in State competitions leading to a small college scholarship.  Even so, Sean still had not decided what path he would take: baseball player, movie director, track and field or artist.  That would soon change.

 

Sean used his scholarship but was then needing to earn money to continue.  So, off to the Gulf he went taking a job working 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, airbrushing T-shirts.  Once he had enough money put aside he started school at the Art Institute of Atlanta, winning top honors at graduation. Then he entered into the world of commercial art as a professional.

 

Sean stepped into the world of Graphic design at a time when old school skills were being replaced by new technology.  However, old skills were still in demand as he advanced in both areas.

 

The one area of Sean’s life that gave him this great journey, so far, is his discipline.  He approached all of the areas of his life with a focus on what will it take to grow in what he wants to accomplish.  

 

Sean is a member of Artists Association of Central Alabama where he had built a website for our club, taught classes in technical software and in vibrant art.  He has a curiosity that continues to add to his art world and is striving to be the best he can be.  And it shows.