Gifted China-painting expert to lead classes at Historium
In September, lovers of fine painted china will have a unique opportunity at the Ozark County Historium. From 10 a.m. until noon on three Wednesday mornings – Sept. 4, 11 and 18 – Vicky York of Theodosia will teach a china-painting class where participants will learn the details of this fine art. Their subject will be a hummingbird painted on a china saucer, and at the end of the three weeks, they will take home the finished work.
Two years ago this month, Vicky and her husband, Larry, moved to the shores of Bull Shoals Lake, west of Theodosia, from Austin, Texas. They came to retire, Larry from his career as a computer scientist, and Vicky as a world-renowned Certified Master Porcelain Artist and instructor. But as many folks discover, retirement isn’t best served by giving up doing the things one loves; so, while Vicky has continued to paint, she is now ready to get back to teaching on a small scale.
The class may accommodate up to 12 participants, with a minimum of six needed. The cost is $100, which is all inclusive – instruction, materials and a visit to Vicky’s home to view her firing room.
Vicky York has been painting china since she was introduced to it by her grandmother when she was 19 years old and in college. Her grandmother recognized the talent her granddaughter possessed, searched out accomplished teachers for her, and made it possible for Vicky to travel to take the needed classes.
She and Larry both lived in Springfield when they were young, graduating from Parkview High School. Vicky went on to attend what was then known as Southwest Missouri State College. After marriage and graduation, they moved around to places where Larry’s work took them, and Vicky found ways to continue her china painting. She soon was teaching, at her dining room table when her two daughters were small; after they were in high school, she “hit the road,” teaching all over the United States and in Europe. At her busiest time, Vicky taught as many as 36 painting seminars in a year.
The artist was also busy creating painted objects herself, exhibiting them in shows and competition, and even organizing competitions. Vicky’s creations have been featured in many professional publications, and she has won many awards.
Vicky says teaching has given her great satisfaction.
“The best thing is seeing the light come on in someone’s head when they ‘get it,’ because china painting is not easy to learn,” she said.
Through the years, Vicky has done many commissioned pieces that have challenged her and made her a better artist.
“Perhaps the most unusual was when a gentleman called me from the Pentagon and asked me to paint a jet on a plate for a woman who was retiring as a fighter pilot,” Vicky says. “I first told him no, that I’d never painted an airplane, but he wouldn’t take no for an answer. The end result was a large platter with her jet, and all of her medals and honors are also on there.”
Vicky is best known in the art world for her floral and hummingbird designs.
“When we lived in Texas, there were so many types of hummingbirds, and I just learned to love them,” she says of her inspiration for this subject matter. “I like to be challenged to find flowers to add to the birds that include the same colors as the feathers.”
Vicky has agreed to display a wide sampling of her painted wares in the Ozark County Historium for the next month. There are pieces of jewelry, plates, platters, trays and tiles, all beautiful and colorful. Small pieces are also available for purchase, including rings and crosses.
To view Vicky York’s lovely porcelain painted artwork, visit the Historium between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. As always, there is no charge to view the display.
From 10 a.m. until noon Wednesday, Aug. 28, Vicky will be in the Historium demonstrating her painting. If you are interested in the class, this is a good opportunity to see the process.
And while there, you may sign up to learn this beautiful craft yourself. See the volunteer on duty to get your name on the list. Or, for more information, call the Historium at 417-679-2400, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.