Main Street to the Rockies Art Festival returns to Frisco for a sixth year this weekend and features paintings, sculptures, photography, glass, wood, jewelry, collage and ceramics by top artists from around the country.
Among them is Kathleen Fenton, a newcomer with an inspiring story.
"I learned to paint in middle school by watching Bob Ross on TV," said the Missouri-based Fenton, who had her own real estate business until the 2009 crash.
That year, Fenton held her daughter's birthday party at her home. "All the little girls saw my art hanging all over my walls," she said, and she was tickled to hear her daughter informing them: "No, my mom did not buy these, she painted these. My mom is an artist."
From that point a series of life-altering events followed. Fenton began teaching the girls to paint, and many invitations to teach painting followed. Before long it became unwieldy to give lessons at her home, so she opened shop in a local downtown district, soon upgrading to a bigger space.
In 2010 a winery approached her to do their annual Christmas wine label. Wine sales have tripled. In 2011, after being inspired to paint sailfish by an offshore fishing trip, a major billfish tournament asked her to paint their T-shirt design. Later, Fenton applied to participate in her first art show with Howard Alan Events. She walked away from it having sold 49 out of 60 paintings.
"I will ... spend the next couple of years figuring out where my collectors are and what price points work on the road," said the business-oriented Fenton, who paints both photorealistic pieces and impressionist impasto. Her first international show is in October. "I cannot wait to see where this art journey takes me and to meet the people who will cross my path. God has been good to me," she said.
Meet Fenton and other participating artists at Main Street to the Rockies Art Festival in Frisco this weekend. The festival is free and art prices range from $25 hand-designed earrings to $30,000 metal sculptures. You can also find Fenton on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kathleen.fenton.54.