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JEAN EDWARDS: SELF-MADE ARTIST
By Marshall McClung
Graham County has many local citizens that are blessed with artistic talents. Most of these people have had little or no formal training, but developed the skills on their own. Such a person is Jean Edwards. Jean s artistic talents are diverse and like many other locals, she never attended art school but developed her skills herself. Jean said that as far back as she can remember as a little girl, she liked drawing and coloring and often received coloring books and crayons for Christmas. In school she did bulletin board displays since early grade school. She once entered a drawing contest for a scholarship to an art school. Jean tied for first place but since she was only about 15 years old and still in the ninth grade, she did not pursue the matter any further.
Later on Jean turned her talent to doing oil paintings including still life, animals, and landscapes. Later she did portraits in oils, graphite (pencil) drawings, and water colors.
While living near Atlanta, Jean started doing drawings for T-shirt designs which included the Fulton County Stadium and the Georgia Dome. Later she did other free hand T-shirt designs such as dragons, unicorns, carousels, etc. In 1992 she design painted a race car for Monty Todd which was featured on television on ESPN.
One of her latest art ventures is to design a series of note cards with local Graham County scenes on them. These include the old Lee Crisp home which is still standing in the Long Branch Community near the Klassic Rut Shop; the old Hyde house that stood near the intersection of Long Branch Road and Old Tallulah Road; the historic Swan Cabin off Wolf Laurel Road in the Big Santeetlah Creek area; and the old John Carver home near New Hope Baptist Church which has since been remodeled.
Jean has also tried-her hand at woodburning, commercial signs, screen printing layout, free-lance,drawing layouts for landscape plans, pottery, and dried flower arrangements. She also does what is called "ink wash" which consists of wetting the areas of a drawing you want colored in, then dripping India ink into the wet areas. She also used charcoal just like you would use a pencil for charcoal drawings to blend shadows and bring highlights in.
Her children are not without their talents either. Her daughter Ginger Fawcett is a photographer and has her own studio. Ginger does glamour shots, weddings, birthdays, etc. Her son Steve, Jr., has taught himself to play the guitar.
We will just have to wait and see what "artistic venture" Jean starts on next.
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This page is maintained by Tom Livingston, Robbinsville, North Carolina