MARSHALL - It was just a few short years ago that Sarah Archbold of Marshall discovered painting.
And now she's about to have a solo show.
Archbold's watercolors and photography, "Birds and Botanicals," will be on display Tuesday though June 29 at the Marshall Area Fine Arts Council's arts center. A reception will be from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, May 24.
Archbold said she started doing art about five years ago, which included taking watercolor classes.
Generally, watercolor instructors do large landscape paintings, Archbold said.
"But if you're painting landscape scenes that the instructors have seen, but I haven't, it's kind of a challenge," Archbold said.
So Archbold turned to what she knew.
"I had been doing some photography, largely in my backyard," Archbold said. "It has a wonderful ecosystem of its own." She said she tended to focus on birds and wildflowers.
Once she discovered she could paint smaller landscapes from the photos she took, it became easier, Archbold said.
"Then it became more natural, more comfortable, I felt better about them," Archbold said.
She learned how to draw botanicals through a MAFAC class taught by Barb Hawes.
"I've taken workshops here and there, Senior College, winter camp I went to," Archbold said. "It's been important for me to try to work from what I know and part of my daily life is to be able to recognize and name the plants and animals around where I live. And it's worked really well for me."
She also walks a lot.
"So some of the places I go looking for birds and flowers is Skunk Hollow (Road) and Camden," Archbold said.
Archbold said she's self-taught on drawing and painting birds, but she learned the technique from the classes she's taken.
"I learned from the classes that watercolor moves different than other kinds (of paint), you kind of have to give it its freedom," Archbold said.
"I find that not only is there joy in learning watercolor, learning photography, but there is joy in learning to cherish these landscapes right here where I live," Archbold said in her artist statement. "When we begin to find the cherished in our everyday lives, every day can become one of discovery, enrichment, and great joy."