Friday, June 21, 2024

Moore and Moore Art

Mother/Daughter artists


Most Monday mornings you can find Cheryl Moore and Heather Moore sitting next to one another in the front row of a drawing group with art materials in hand. The mother-daughter artist duo attends the weekly portrait session of the Lake Granbury Art Association at the Shanley House Gallery and Studio.

Their styles are significantly different, but their goal is much the same — to improve their observation skills. Known to be the hardest subject to undertake, the human form provides both challenge and variety as every week a new member of the community takes the chair to model.

The first time Cheryl joined the Monday morning artists, Geno Yoders, husband of fellow artist Kathy Yoders took the chair. “When I first sat with the portrait group drawing from a live model, I had a spiritual connection as the face emerged as if by magic,” shared Cheryl.

“Mom invited me to the portrait group,” Heather offers, “I love the camaraderie of the group. I want to improve my people drawing skills for sure.”

Cheryl and Heather may sit together weekly with the same goal but the path that each one took was different.

Cheryl did not consider herself an artist until around the age of 50, even though the evidence suggested otherwise. Peers had called her an artist in high school where she designed the newspaper logo. Cheryl was delighted to find at her 50th high school reunion that the logo she created is still used today. In high school she also painted the school trophy cases and drugstore windows for holidays and school spirit days, as well as providing art work for the yearbook for her high school in Venezuela.

“My great-grandmother was an admired China painter, and her grandson (her father) was unstoppable as an artist. I was surrounded by art as a child, as my mother’s mother who was a great appreciator of the arts and an artist herself,” said Cheryl.

Though her dad was an accomplished painter and her great-grandmother a skilled artist who painted China, neither did so professionally so when it came time to choose a profession Cheryl didn’t think art was a viable option. She chose to study political science and Spanish in college with an eye on working internationally. She used her education in the classroom and also used her artistic ability to illustrate concepts to solidify learning.

After retiring from teaching Spanish, Cheryl was able to concentrate on her personal artwork. “I started doing portraits and found out that I didn’t have the skills that I thought I did. I had a lot to learn. That laid out my future path for me, to learn to do portraits that were accurate in likeness as well as being decent pieces of art.” This desire to increase her skills was met by the weekly meeting of the drawing group.

Heather, like her mother, was surrounded by art her entire life. “Ever since I was little, I’ve thought of myself as an artist and called myself an artist I think,” Heather says. Cheryl adds, “Heather has always had an amazing eye for color. She did wonderful, bright drawings at age 4 of a girl named Mary dancing. Mary was perhaps an imaginary friend. There was always drawing and painting going on around her at home growing up, and she just jumped right in.”

Cheryl believes in creating a safe and accepting environment for children to develop their skills. “We would go to Swan Lake to draw the swans and the rose gardens in Tulsa when she was growing up,” Cheryl said. Both women agree that all of Cheryl’s children are creative.

“Julie and Walter have wonderful musical talents. Mom surrounded us with instruments and music. We were all in choir, piano, violin, guitar, etc. Walter is an amazing self-taught acoustic guitarist and Julie is a beautiful vocalist. I can hold a tune (laughs),” Heather gushes about her siblings. Cheryl adds, “Heather is also a lovely singer and a very graceful dancer.”

“My sister is a good artist also. My brother definitely thinks outside the box and is always inventing something new just like my Dad who is an engineer,” Heather continues. She also mentions the art that hung in her home growing up, “My mom’s dad was an incredible, accomplished artist. My mom has his paintings throughout their house.”

In high school Heather won the Congressional Art District Award for St. Louis. “I was 17 years old. My mom took me to Washington, D.C. where Tom Cruise presented the award. Very memorable time. Mom and I had lots of fun. That was probably one of my first exciting experience in art,” Heather explains. “Her piece hung in the Congressional Gallery for three months,” said Cheryl.

Heather went on to study art and interior design in college. “She creates beautiful murals, pet and human portraits and contemporary style paintings of many other subjects. The designer’s eye that she has shows up in everything she touches. She loves doing creative projects with her nieces, painting, sculpting, molding and tie-dying being among the skills she shares,” Cheryl says of her oldest child.

“Mom, that is so kind. The only reason I created any art was because I was always inspired by my mom’s creative energy and expression,” Heather offers.

Heather continues, “My mom is on the top of my favorite artist list. I remember as a child watching her draw and paint, mesmerized by her every brush or pencil stroke. When I think about it, my mom truly is the inspiration, influence and drive with so much of my art.”

The women share some of the same artistic interests. “Drawing people is my delight,” says Cheryl, “Other living things as well, such as animals and flowers.”

Heather agrees, “I would love to perfect the portrait and the human body.”

Currently Heather is working on a painting of her niece at Big Rocks in Glen Rose, skipping from rock to rock. “It’s acrylic with vibrant color … extremely challenging.”

“I have always loved color. Color is something that might come easier for me although I am always challenging myself with use of crazy color,” Heather explains. Her mom Cheryl shares this bold use of color. She brazenly swipes bold color in her water color portraits painted from life.

Despite their shared love of art and lifelong exposure to culture, neither woman is sure if the skills they possess are more “nature or nurture,” more giftedness or hard work.

“I am not sure about talent or giftedness. I think it might be a matter of environment as much as anything,” says Cheryl.

“I think hard work and interest are most important. Everyone can be an artist if they really want to. Genetics help a little,” adds Heather.

Both Moores intend to keep honing their craft. Studying favorite artists, spending time at drawing group and at the easel. Heather is trying more oil painting, she mentions sculpting and welding as well. Cheryl continues to perfect her watercolor techniques. And what of a mother-daughter art show? “You will have to ask my mom,” offers Heather, “Not a bad idea.”

For information on modeling for portrait group call 817-579-7656 or 361-510-6820. The group meets Mondays from 9-11 a.m.

art, portrait, drawing group, Shanley House, portrait group