in the unique styles of Blakeley and Sylvia Wilson. Our gallery is a cornucopia of the marvelous art work of Blakeley and her mother. Every day one of the artist is in the shop, painting. Blakeley said she learned to paint before she learned to write. She paints her visions of an "ideal world". In her mind, she's "walking in that world" but never knows for sure where her paintbrush will lead. She places the final details- a bluebird, a lilac, a white cat, a sunflower one by one until,the painting is complete.
Looking at the pictures, it's easy to want to live there, too -- In the charming old house, with your quilts flapping on the line just off your porch. With the dogs and ducks, cows and chickens close by. And always, the white cats. The paintings are seasonal and always fresh: spring, fall, Halloween, Christmas-"Rockefeller" was a popular Christmas creation last year. This year patrons love summer's "Sea Side Fun," complete with beach umbrellas and roller coasters. The art become prints, calendars and note cards. The shop also carries wonderful handmade craft like birdhouses, cat clocks, all original American art at its best.
Painting is the only life Blakeley has ever known. "I was raised in the family business." My mother has always painted. Her true passion were these folk art scenes. From as far back as I can remember Daddy would carve duck decoys and Mother painted them. When she was a young woman she would paint with me and my brother, Brooks, on her knee.
"My mother painted the most wonderful wildlife scenes that paired with the duck decoys Daddy carved. They sold them at arts and crafts shows all over the U.S. and we went with them... in the back of a pickup truck," Blakeley remembers. "My Dad always made sure we were in school on Monday morning even if he had to drive around the clock to get there." Their home was in Oklahoma.
"I paint," says Blakeley. "That's what I do." It is the one thing that I love with all my heart. No matter what is happening in my life, it's easy for me to loose myself in the idyllic life I paint…where there is a perfect little home with hundreds of cats that you never have to feed."
Blakeley and Sylvia have been part of War Eagle Craft Fair for 25 years. Established in 1954, the event — this year Oct. 16 to 19, 2014. They take only original art. Between 300,000 and 400,000 people attend; it takes a lot of art!