Salye Gorrell of Enid is returning to the Nescatunga Arts Festival after several years of not being able to attend due to Covid and illness. Gorrell is entered in oil and acrylics, watercolor, pastel, mixed media and graphics-pen & ink.
Gorrell’s passion is art, but due to cancer and the pandemic, she was not able to paint for some time. She is currently in remission and is excited to return to her love of painting.
“The good Lord has given me a chance to do what I love for as long as I can – and that’s artwork,” Gorrell said. “I’ll be bringing new stuff, some colored pencil with pen and ink - some watercolors. I’m working on an oil painting right now.”
Her favorite medium to work with is watercolor.
“I love watercolor; it’s a very challenging medium to a lot of people,” she said. “You never know when you wet it…when it starts to dry, it creates different patterns. You never get the same thing twice. That fascinates me.”
Gorrell paints a variety of art from cartoons, and tole painting to watercolors.
“Mostly, my love is animals,” Gorrell said. “I’ve raised and shown horses my whole life.”
She is currently working on Native American-style art.
Gorrell is a self-taught artist who learned how to paint before the Internet and social media. She watched other artists and read books on painting techniques. Gorrell credits her grandmother for her inherited talent.
“My mom always said ‘you got your talent from my mother,’” Gorrell said.
She painted her first piece when she was 16 by watching her parents’ nearby lessee, an off-duty marine, paint a Tahitian girl on black velvet. When her family moved to California in 1932, she learned the art of Tole painting from the girls there. She would paint on saw blades in that style.
Later, with a family of her own, she would still find time to paint.
“I had two children, and I would wait until I got them to bed, and paint until the early mornings,” Gorrell said.
Currently, Gorrell is in her 24th year of working for Rambler Energy Services as an office administrator, and still finds time to paint in the evenings, on weekends and in her spare time.