Unusual portraits line the walls of Beverly Amstutz’s family room in Bluffton. One portrait features her grandmother, a Mennonite, dressed in purple.
“She would never have worn purple,” Beverly said laughing. “She always wore black. That’s why I thought it would be fun to paint her in a dress with a different color.”
Beverly is the featured speaker at the Putnam County Library on Monday, April 15, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
She will talk about her art and also about the importance of painted portraits in the past.
“Years ago it was the only way we had to show what people looked like,” Beverly said. “They didn’t have photographs back then.”
Beverly said she has always enjoyed art. She took art in high school and college.
She has taught in public schools in several states including Kentucky, Missouri, Georgia, South Carolina, Oklahoma and Ohio.
“My husband job required that we change locations a lot,” Beverly explained.
She said they returned to Bluffton nearly 17 years ago.
“Painting the portraits just started as something fun to do,” Beverly said. She enjoys providing costumes that reflect personalities on portraits of relatives and friends.
“I look at the head and do that, but then veer off and add special clothes and backgrounds,” Beverly explained.
She said her mother always enjoyed dancing so she painted her portrait on a rope couth wearing a beautiful gown with glitter.
A portrait of he great niece and her mother features the two standing on a beach wearing Victorian clothes.
“I do research to try to make the outfits as authentic as possible,” Beverly said.
Her imagination is also an important part of her portraits. A portrait of a friend’s daughters shows them with fairy wings.
“Our kids are located all over the country and don’t live near us,” Beverly said. “So I have time to devote to this hobby.”
Beverly said it is important for everyone to have projects. “It gives people an incentive to be alive,” she said.
Beverly said her next project may be doing portraits of the men in her village.
The public is invited to come on April 15 to see her portraits and hear as she shares about her hobby and the importaimportance of portraits in history.