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Landscapes on mushrooms, creates jewelry with rocks

Long-time painter and part-time Pahrumpian Marti Zeigler is a realistic, contemporary oil painter and a fan of natural landscapes, fine lines and the color green. She loves trees, especially evergreens and Redwoods; her favorite – Jack Pine.

Painting with oil colors is “forgiving,” she said, more so than acrylic or watercolor. Though, she concedes, it is a more difficult medium in which to perfect a “wet on wet” technique.

Oil colors are malleable to all surfaces, she explained; even those not typically used. She has painted on t-shirts, wood surfaces, metal, glass and standard prepared canvases.

But the strangest and, so-far, most interesting surface she has painted is the one she is currently working on – a shelf mushroom, gifted to her by a relative from the state of Washington.

The Artist Conk mushroom has a wooden texture, she explained, that quickly soaks up paint. She expects the replicated landscape, complete with a mountain stream nestled amidst a pine forest, will take six hours to complete. She will bring the finished piece to “show and tell” Wednesday at the Pahrump Art Gallery, as an example of her exploratory creativity.

There is a prolific art community in Pahrump, she said, that includes the Pahrump Art Gallery, the Spring Mountain Art Guild and the Pahrump Arts Council.

Between the three groups, she said, all forms of artists can be found including photographers, watercolorists, oil painters, sculptors, writers and jewelers.

Zeigler, retired from the Commerce Department’s Export Administration, also creates cabochon pendants from gemstones.

She uses a variety of gemstones, including Nevada turquoise, malachite, jasper, and agate.

Crafting jewelry is not very different from painting, she said. Both artistic endeavours allow her to lose herself completely, enabling her to tune out her environment.

She encourages everyone to create some type of art. “You don’t need to know how to draw to learn how to paint. There is no right or wrong when creating art, ” she said.

Zeigler characterizes herself a full-time traveler. Not a snowbird, but a sunchaser, she said.

She spends the hotter, summer months in the Pacific northwest where she and her husband RV, scout gems for jewelry making and take pictures to create landscape paintings.

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