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Local artist enjoys exploring her creativity in retirement

For Lorraine Evert, retirement has been an opportunity to get back to painting, long one of her favorite pastimes.

The Parsons-area artist always enjoyed sketching, but she began painting in earnest when she was a young mother.

“I spent a lot of time painting while my kids were sleeping,” she remembers.

Over the years, Lorraine continued to make the occasional painting as a gift, often when she was asked to. Now she’s getting used to having the freedom to paint whatever she wants.

“One of my retirement goals has been to dedicate a lot of my time to painting, and I’ve done that,” she said.

Her efforts have paid off in the Art Is Ageless® competition at Parsons Presbyterian Manor. For the second year in a row, her work has placed in the masterpiece-level competition and will be featured in the annual Art is Ageless calendar.

This year, a pair of Lorraine’s paintings received masterpiece-level distinction: “Festive Snowman” will be reproduced in the 2023 calendar, and “Majestic Bull Elk” will be featured on an Art is Ageless birthday card.

Lorraine. Who is 69, is drawn to subjects from nature, including landscapes, plants and animals, which she renders in a naturalistic way. She painted “Majestic Bull Elk” as a gift for her husband.

“I’ve tried to paint more impressionistic or more modern, and it’s just not me,” she said. “I like to paint something that looks real.”

Lorraine jokes that she was never quite sure what she wanted to be when she grew up, and she held a variety of different jobs during her career. For nearly two decades, she worked in the banking field. She was the administrative assistant in a prison for a while and also served as the director of a Chamber of Commerce.

She went back to school to study accounting, but found it wasn’t creative enough for her. Instead, she shifted to the human resources program. Lorraine worked in the HR department for a factory in Parsons. until her retirement.

Now she’s pleased to turn her attention to painting with the goal of selling enough of her work to cover her costs. She has sold a small number of paintings and plans to show some of her work at Free State Cigars, the new cigar lounge in Parsons.

She’s still getting used to painting whatever she wants. Still, it can be hard to decide — there are so many potential subjects.

Maybe, she says, she’ll write them down on scraps of paper and draw one at a time from a bowl.

Regardless, she knows she’ll enjoy the process.

“I found out what I want to be when I grow up, and that’s retired,” Lorraine said. “I wanted to retire while I can still enjoy my life.”

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