Artist Barbara Surick has featured faces, pets, homes and more on her canvas over the years.
But, nothing has been quite as inspiring as putting paintbrush to palette while soaking in natural beauty throughout Hatboro and Horsham. Awe-inspiring scenes of gardens, big barns, old springhouses and flowers in bloom are just some of the beauty in the eye of this beholder.
“I started walking and painting and it gave me all this incentive,” said Surick, of Hatboro, who started painting in the 1970s, but took to the great outdoors about 20 years ago while battling cancer. “I don’t think I would’ve survived with this big tumor in my chest … It keeps me moving.”
Testing the waters with renderings of the Old Mill Inn, the and Hatboro’s former theater, Surick, an instructor at ’s adult evening school, has since evolved into a new form of outdoor artistry with help from a handful of her students.
“It gives me a center for my life too because the people inspire me,” said Surick.
The informal group of painters meets monthly at picturesque locations in Hatboro and Horsham to take in the sights, and, of course, craft locally inspired original works of art.
Fellow artist Brenda Lynch of Horsham is opening up her property to showcase gardens surrounding a pool and flowers for all to paint.
“Being outside with everyone getting advice from other people helps me to improve,” said Lynch, who began painting with Surick four years ago. “We prefer to paint outside, but the weather doesn’t always permit it. Watercolors run and you have to paint a little faster. It dries quickly.”
Since the group first began its outdoor sessions this spring, Surick said seven or eight people join her in setting up their chairs, bringing a bagged lunch and painting for a few hours.
Even though the artists are seeing the same sights, Surick said no two paintings are alike.
“What was really interesting was to see how differently everything was,” Surick said of the most recent session, which featured a barn and springhouse. “One lady did it all in shades of yellow.”
Perhaps best of all for those interested - but not so artistically inclined - is Surick’s assertion that “it doesn’t take artistic ability.”
“It’s amazing what you can do,” she said.
Lynch said she hopes to welcome some fresh faces to the group’s next paint session, on July 23.
“I would like to help inspire others to paint outdoors with us. It’s just a wonderful medium,” Lynch said. "For this session I told Barbara it’s probably going to be very hot. Painting from inside the pool is fine too.”
The key, both agreed, is to paint.
If you go
Barbara Surick’s outdoor paint session will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on July 23 at the home of Brenda Lynch, 1324 Welsh Road in Horsham. For more information, call Lynch at 215-646-1592, or Surick at 215-675-5475.