'The Painted Ladies' mix friends with art

ALAMOSA — A healthy share of good-natured teasing is mixed in with the oils and acrylics when “The Painted Ladies” get together.

Four local artists who have also become good friends regularly get together to paint, have lunch and laugh together.

The Painted Ladies — Dee Bartee, Yvon Boss, Margaret Jones and June McDaniel — currently have their work on display in the SLV Health’s second floor artrium where it will remain up through the end of September. A reception with light refreshments will be held from 4:30-7 p.m. on Friday, August 25.

“We just enjoy each other’s company,” Bartee said.

She said they all had taken classes from artist Coni Grant and then started getting together on Tuesdays to paint at each other’s houses or outside.

“When it’s nice we paint outside,” Boss said.

“We prefer to paint outside,” Bartee added.

In fact the four artists plan a paint-out retreat at the guard station on Carnero Creek this September.

They enjoy such field trips and recently went to Salida to paint, with side trips to thrift stores and of course lunch.

The four have been painting together for 8-10 years and started their weekly sessions a few years ago.

The ladies’ artwork, generally painted in oils, but some in acrylics, ranges from landscapes to animals, still lifes and other work. Each artist has her own style, and the other ‘painted ladies’ can recognize a painting by its artist’s style.

“We challenge each other and criticize each other, give each other a bad time and do a lot of laughing and teasing,” Boss said. “And we always have lunch.”

She added, “We are all retired and tired.”

Boss said the four artists consider themselves to be hobby painters, not professionals, but their work is for sale, and they each hope to sell at least one painting during the show at the hospital artrium.

“We priced them cheap so people could buy them. We’re hoping someone will feel sorry for us and like what we have,” joked Bartee.

Their show was not scheduled in the artrium until January but when the next group of artists cancelled, the Painted Ladies gathered their work together for the summer show.

“This is a really good place. We appreciate the hospital,” Bartee said.

Each artist’s work is featured in its own section of the wall, with samplings from all artists at both ends of the artrium.

Meet the artists
Yvon Boss lives in the country between Alamosa and Monte Vista where she has horses, chickens, dogs, cats and a husband. She has been a rancher and worked at the post office in Center and as a counselor before retiring. She has three children, four grandchildren and one great granddaughter.

“I spend a lot of time outdoors,” she said. “I have a hard time having enough time to do everything I want to. I can’t imagine people who get bored.”

Dee Bartee retired from the medical records department at the veterans’ center. She and her husband Kenny have two children and five grandchildren, a dog and cats.

“I work in the yard if I feel like it and paint every chance I get,” she said. “I love to travel.”

She now spends part of the winter in Arizona.

June McDaniel retired from teaching in 1995 after 30 years, with the majority of those years in La Jara, where she lives.

During her educational career she taught a variety of grades and courses from girls physical education to kindergarten, second and fourth grades.

“I always included art in my curriculum,” she said. “I feel it’s very important.”

She has been painting for a number of years but has also designed close to 20 quilts and “fiddled with” jewelry. She sees a future art project in most discarded items.

“I am a saver. I look at something and see what I can create,” she said.

She is married and has five children, 10 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren.

Margaret Jones is originally from south Wales but came to the U.S. in her 20’s.

“In England growing up we didn’t have paper or paints. They were like gold. Everybody saved every scrap of paper,” she recalled. In art classes at school the children did metal work because they did not have materials for painting.

Margaret worked as a nurse and midwife and then helped her husband Lloyd with his businesses. Her late husband ran a construction company and the Splashland Swimming Pool.

“I enjoyed the kids at the pool,” she said.

Besides all of their adopted swimming pool kids, the Joneses had four children between them and always had an Irish Setter until recently when the last of the setters died a year ago and Margaret adopted a Chihuahua.

She said when she first came to the San Luis Valley she had lived in a big city and said she could never live here, but now “I can’t imagine living anywhere else but here. The Valley is the most beautiful, sacred place.”

Although once taking a drawing course at Adams State, Margaret had no time to paint for many years. It wasn’t until about 10 years ago that Margaret was able to begin painting, and she has enjoyed it ever since.

She is currently hampered with a cast, due to recent shoulder replacement surgery, but is hoping to soon be able to paint again.

“I enjoy it. It’s fun, even more fun if you can do it with other people.

Shown in front of their work from left are June McDaniel, Yvon Boss, Margaret Jones and Dee Bartee.