McWilliams continues childhood love of painting

Published 10:15 pm Thursday, May 10, 2018

By Oniska Blevins
The Selma Times-Journal

Crawford Barnes McWilliams’ love and passion for art runs deep. From her early start in the art world to now being a professional artist, McWilliams has always known art was her first true love.

“My love of art began during childhood,” McWilliams said.

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“In elementary school, my mother signed me up for art classes at the Selma Art Guild, and I took lessons from Cam [Guarino] for many years.”

The Marion native is being featured as the May artist of the month at the Selma Art Guild Gallery and is elated for the honor.

“I’m so thankful and flattered to be the featured artist because it has allowed me to reconnect with a former mentor, Cam Walker Guarino,” McWilliams said.
“She greatly impacted my creativity as a child and encouraged me to pursue a career that would incorporate my passion for the visual arts.”

Even though art has always been her passion, it was not until recently that she decided to start painting professionally.

After the unexpectant loss of her mother in 2017, she started painting again to help her grieve with the loss.
McWilliams said her mother always encouraged her to start painting again.

“She was my biggest supporter, cheerleader, and she was simply my best friend,” McWilliams said. “Losing her was the hardest thing I’ve ever experienced, and after months of grieving, I decided to take the leap into painting professionally.”

Making her mother proud through her art is important to McWilliams, and she puts her “heart and soul into every brushstroke.”

McWilliams’ paintings are primarily oil paint, and she garners inspiration from architecture, nature, and even everyday objects.

“As an artist, I’m inspired by everything around me,” McWilliams said.

Guarino said she saw the potential McWilliams possessed even in her earlier years of painting.

Guarino said she was excited to hear McWilliams had recently started painting professionally.

“She always showed a lot of talent in art,” Guarino said.

Still a constant supporter of her former students, Guarino took steps to help get McWilliams featured in the Selma Art Guild Gallery.

After confirming there was an opening for an artist, Guarino suggested to the gallery to feature McWlliams.

Guarino said seeing her former student being recognized for her craft is a reward in itself.

“It’s like the best reward a teacher can get,” Guarino said.