“I’ve been playing in art all my life,” Paula Haynes said of her lifelong interest.

The Clarkson resident won the Central Kentucky Art Guild 2018 Artist of the Year. The guild meets monthly in Elizabethtown and also participates in many workshops and exhibits.

As winner of artist of the year, Haynes will have a solo exhibit in November at the Morrison Gallery at Elizabethtown Community and Technical College.

Haynes’ first memories of art are of her mother letting her draw on paper napkins at the kitchen table. She also remembers her school teacher giving her chalk for drawings after her assignments were finished. She remembers drawing the same house every day, down to every detail.

She wanted to go to art school when she was younger, but couldn’t afford it. The only formal class she ever had was a perspectives class at a community college when she lived in West Virginia.

In 2012, her daughter taught a scrapbooking class at Haynes’ primitive decor store. Haynes started making scrapbooks out of materials such as envelopes, paper bags and toilet paper rolls. She then ran across someone using scrapbook paper in art pieces. Haynes tried it and fell in love with mixed-media art.

In 2013, a local shop started carrying a few of her pieces and she started teaching art classes in her studio. She later joined the CKAG. Haynes has won a variety of blue ribbons at art shows, including one in 2016 for her section at the famed St. James Art Fair in Louisville.

Haynes said she is involved with art 365 days a year.

“I wake up in the morning and just have to do something with art,” she said, adding on the days she doesn’t make art, she’s thinking about it.

Haynes plays with a variety of mixed media. She uses a lot of paper, such as the background of a piece she’ll later paint over.

One example is a bee that’s painted with acrylics over a background made with dotted tissue paper. She’s a big supporter of bees and they are featured in many of her pieces.

Another example is a flower that has sheets of music under it because she said gardens sing a song.

She also uses a lot of poetry or prose in her art, sometimes from Scripture or quotes from famous people, but most of the time it’s her own writing.

“Usually when I first see a picture, it says something to me,” she said of her art.

She said it’s a passion and just something she has to do.

Haynes also loves learning something new, especially from other artists.

“You glean from one ano­ther,” she said of fellow artists.

Much of the art she creates features people she knows or things she’s passionate about. Some of her first pieces included family, especially her grandchildren.

“It’s a way of expressing who I am and what I see as important,” she said.

Becca Owsley can be reached at 270-505-1740 or bowsley@thenewsenterprise.com.

Becca Owsley is a features reporter at The News-Enterprise.

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