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Chilton County Peach Art Show winners

Braden McRae

Braden McRae has been enjoying art for two years now. He inherited his talent from his grandmother, who has made art for most of her life. When McRae decided to make art a hobby, he started taking art classes once or twice a week. Each art session would last around one to two hours.

“I really enjoy taking art. It was kind of funny how I got started, though, because I just looked at my mom when we were driving in the car, and I said, ‘I want to do art.’” McRae said. “So then we looked around and found an art teacher, and I have been doing art ever since.”

This year, he decided to paint a picture for the Chilton County Art Show. For his winning piece, McRae painted a three-section picture of snowboarders each doing a different trick on their boards. He was awarded first place for this picture that was judged at the Clanton Branch of Peach Tree Bank.

“I am very excited about winning,” he said. “I just painted something that I knew. My room is snowboarding, and so I had a lot of inspiration.”

It took McRae only six art sessions to completely finish his picture. This year, he will be in the 7th grade at Thorsby High School. He is the son of Kyle and Michelle McRae. He plans to continue painting, and hopes that he gets even better.

Carolyn Cumbie and Scarlett Teel

True-life pictures are a specialty when it comes to these two life-long artist friends. Together, they have spent many days drawing and painting memories of the past.

Carolyn Cumbie was presented with first place and an honorable mention in the Chilton County Art show while her friend, Scarlett Teel, won second and third place with their pictures of real-life places.

The winning piece by Cumbie was a local farmer’s blueberry patch. She said her inspiration for the piece came from the farmer’s wife, Charlotte Kelly. Two years ago, Kelly lost her husband, Randy, and has since been trying to keep up with his blueberry crop. Unfortunately, she is starting to lose the ability to keep up the crop, and wanted to have something to remember her husband by that could last even after his blueberries are gone.

“I am really good friends with Charlotte, and I was more than happy to paint her this picture so that she could remember her husband and all of the life that he created,” Cumbie said.

Cumbie said that once she completed the piece, it quickly became one of her favorite watercolor pictures that she had ever done. Her honorable mention picture was painted for Dr. Benita Cahalane, special education coordinator with the Chilton County Board of Education.

The picture was painted in memory of Cahalane’s father, who died almost two years ago.

“She said that her father loved to be out on the water, so I painted the river with the lilies to represent the celebration of his life rather than his death,” Cumbie said.

When Cumbie paints, she either goes to the site or uses a picture of what she wants to paint. This allows her creations to come to life. She has been painting since the 1960s, and said only three years ago that she put down her oils and acrylics and picked up watercolors, and is happy about that decision.

Cumbie’s friend, Scarlett Teel, also paints memories. She uses places that she has been and people that she has met to create her pieces.

Teel started the hobby when she was 12 years old, and has now become an art teacher. She holds classes locally during the school season and has done so for 30 years.

“I hold four classes a week, including two children’s classes and two adult classes,” Teel said. “I just love getting more people involved with art. It thrills me that the kids are involved.”

Teel received second place for her picture of an Alaskan girl in a pub. Teel took a picture of a young girl working in a pub when she visited Alaska and used that picture to create the painting. Her third place picture was painted for a childhood friend. It was a memory of a childhood home that her friend had lived in and the two girls had played in together.

Teel works with both acrylic and oil. Her second-place piece was acrylic, and her third place piece was oil.

Teel has a degree in painting from Montevallo and is working to become the next Leo Lafarley, who was one of the first people to ever teach art in Chilton County.