An Elizabethtown woman, who recently discovered her artistic talent, is having her artwork featured on on the state level.

Gwen Yarbrough was selected to showcase her artwork in the Team Kentucky Gallery in the main halls of the Capitol building in Frankfort.

Yarbrough was chosen by Gov. Andy and First Lady Britainy Beshear to be a part of the exhibit that concludes Dec. 31.

A friend was impressed with some portraits she painted of her grandchildren and encouraged her to enter a piece for the exhibit at the Capitol, Yarbrough said.

“I sent a charcoal/pencil drawing of ASTA, a pit bull,” she said.

ASTA is a rescue dog that belongs to Yarbrough’s hairdresser.

“For this portrait I used charcoal/pencil instead of my usual watercolor medium,” she said. “I wanted to show the hair texture and shaded features I knew charcoal would give.”

Yarbrough said she always feels a connection with the portraits she paints, especially with ASTA.

“I felt comfort knowing I captured this rescued dog on paper to be forever remembered and never forgotten again,” she said.

Yarbrough really didn’t know how the pieces were judged or how many were entered for a spot in the exhibit. A few weeks later she received notification that she was chosen for the display.

“Only after delivering my artwork to Frankfort I discovered only 40 pieces of work were chosen and the governor’s wife was a dog lover and really liked my portrait,” she said.

Yarbrough was surprised she was chosen and considers it both an honor and encouragement to be selected among the talented artists in Kentucky.

“Everything about painting and drawing always gives me a feeling of accomplishment,” she said. “I really do surprise myself after finishing a piece of work.”

She didn’t discover her ability until about nine years ago after attending a watercolor painting class.

“It is such a joy to see others amazed and happy with my work,” she said. “It’s what keeps me going.”

The exhibit can be viewed at the state capitol, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday and digitally at governor.ky.gov/gallery.

A closing reception is in December with the governor and first lady and an overall winner will be selected from the exhibit, Yarbrough said.

Becca Owsley can be reached at 270-505-1416 bowsley@thenewsenterprise.com.

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