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Thornhill picked as Selma Art Guild’s artist of the month

Selma Art Guild executive director Jo Pate places one of Karen Thornhill's paintings on display at the guild's gallery Thursday.

Selma Art Guild executive director Jo Pate places one of Karen Thornhill’s paintings on display at the guild’s gallery Thursday.

The Selma Art Guild looked outside Dallas County to find the artist of the month for July, selecting Wetumpka resident Karen Thornhill.

Thornhill was chosen to be July’s artist of the month after one of her photographs, titled “Simple Living”, won the Best in Show honors during the guild’s annual Summer Juried Art Show, which was held June 8. After winning the art show, dozens of her paintings and photographs will hang in the guild’s gallery for the month of July.

“It’s interesting that she was selected Best in Show for a photograph, and her paintings are every bit as wonderful as her photography,” said Jo Pate, executive director of the Selma Art Guild. “In fact, she is a far more prolific painter than she is a photographer. Her works are bright and cheerful, and it makes you want to run to wherever she is painting and just sit there.”

Pate, who has seen some of Thornhill’s works in the past, said the breadth of her work makes each piece all the more impressive.

“She has entered our shows before, but this is the first time I have seen the full variety of her works,” Pate said. “It makes me want to go home and pick up a paintbrush and paint something different.”

Thornhill said the bright color palette seen in her paintings of fish, landscapes and flowers was something she picked up while living in Texas, as well as Central America and South America.

“I’ve picked up some of the Spanish influence, and that’s probably made my artwork more colorful than it was before,” Thornhill said.

An art education major in college, Thornhill only recently picked up the paintbrush again after devoting her life to raising her children.

“I just loved to paint, but the reason I stopped is because I would have neglected my children if I kept painting,” Thornhill said. “Sometimes I will start painting and just lose all track of time.”

Thornhill said she is constantly painting, sometimes working on more than one piece at a time.

“I kind of go from one painting to another,” Thornhill said. “I will paint a few series every now and again, like my sunflower series, but that’s pretty rare for me. I will paint landscapes, portraits, or whatever I feel like doing. And if I’m working in water-based oils, it takes a long time for them to dry, so I will switch back and forth between different paintings.”

The opening reception for Thornhill’s show will take place July 13, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Selma Art Guild’s gallery, located at 508 Selma Avenue.

Along with the free reception July 13, the public will also be able to view the show Friday, July 18, Saturday July 19 as well as Friday, July 25 and Saturday, July 26.