Artist Jean Corwin was apparently born with a brush in her hand.
“She never puts her brush down,” Corwin’s husband Chuck said.
Indeed, it is difficult to imagine that Corwin does anything other than create. The 73-year-old artist paints commissions, paints for fun, and teaches painting classes every month at the Warrior Schoolhouse in Fordyce.
She makes papier-mâché dolls by hand and has been featured in Prims, a magazine devoted, as the publication puts it, to “art inspired by a bygone era.”
Corwin’s original works and prints are available at The Dutch House, a wonderful antique store in Waynesburg owned by Corwin’s granddaughter, Savanna Christy, and in the store’s Etsy shop.
And now Corwin is venturing into the world of calendar art.
“My husband is one of my biggest fans,” Corwin said. “He has a group of friends, every time I do a painting he always sends me pictures of them. Chuck said, ‘You should make a calendar. These are magnificent. ‘”
Corwin began to paint as a child. She said her mother and grandmother were both artists, and she remembers spending countless happy days making art with them, a tradition she passed down to her 10 grandchildren. , eight great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.
“I don’t remember not having a pencil, pencil or paper in front of me,” Corwin said. “It was my gift for almost every holiday – art supplies.”
Corwin attended Hopewell High School, where, she says, her art teacher provided her with a more in-depth art education than she could ever have received in college. Since that five-year high school art class, Corwin has studied with Patrick Daugherty, a professional artist and teacher from Uniontown, and has taken watercolor lessons at the University of West Virginia.
“My artistic training is daily,” Corwin said. “I always take every opportunity to improve my skills. I’ve always watched shows featuring artists. I take courses online.
She learns and she teaches too.
Corwin is always happy to share his experience and knowledge with those who wish to learn.
Each month she hosts a four-hour painting workshop at the school behind The Dutch House – painting supplies are provided and students have the opportunity to improve their artistry at a school from the 1800s.
“The only man in the class, he hadn’t painted since he was in high school. His wife took him to class. He was so excited, ”Corwin said. “He made a wonderful painting. I was so excited he did.
Corwin’s sincerity comes through when she meets her in person and when she admires her work, which is scattered across the world. Her dolls and paintings decorate living spaces near and as far as California, Texas, Iceland and England.
One morning, Christy arrived to open The Dutch House and was surprised to learn that a woman from South Carolina had been waiting outside the store for almost half an hour.
She had, by chance, seen a painting by Corwin, and she absolutely had to have the artwork for her house.
Christy invited the woman to come in. South Carolina picked up the room, pointed to a window on the painted house, and said, “This is my childhood room,” Christy recalls.
Corwin loves her custom work – she recently spent over 100 hours making a stunning 30 by 36 painting of the client’s house – but her true love is to showcase the place she calls her home.
“I love to paint Greene County, the old houses and the landscape,” Corwin said. “It’s just a beautiful county. I don’t always think (people) appreciate the beauty of Greene County.
The waters, barns and fields that decorate the landscapes of Greene County are on display in Corwin’s 2022 Calendar, which goes on sale December 30 and can be purchased at The Dutch House Etsy store or onsite.
The gorgeous timing keepsake is printed on linen and filled with Corwin’s most beautiful Greene County scenery in rich colors. Its use of shadow and sure touch evokes childlike wonder, and Christie has said she hopes those who buy the first Corwin Calendar will – carefully – cut out the prints to frame and enjoy in their homes.
Although enthusiastic about her foray into the art of the calendar, Corwin has already moved on.
“Even as I put down the brush, the next painting is on my mind,” said the prolific local artist. “When you create beauty you wake up and you are so excited because you are doing a painting. You are creating something beautiful. It’s hard to see what’s ugly in the world when you’re creating.