Artist's own walls stripped bare to benefit Pascal Senior Center

March 11, 1994|By Jody Roesler | Jody Roesler,Special to The Sun

The house on Mayford Avenue looks like a museum that has been burglarized, what with the all the hooks hanging empty in the hallways and rooms.

The walls are empty because more than half the 30 paintings Inez Silate has kept at her house are at the Pascal Senior Center on Dorsey Road in Glen Burnie, where she is being featured as March's "Artist of the Month."

She and her husband, George, both 71, checked into the classes offered at the center four years ago. "We wanted a hobby to fill our spare time," Mrs. Silate said.

Since then, she has filled her time and several hundred square feet of wall space with 91 paintings, 50 in oils and the rest pastels. "I'm trying to hit the hundred mark," she said.

Mrs. Silate retired in 1984 from her job as secretary to the assistant principal of George Fox Middle School. Mr. Silate was a buyer for General Electric Co. until he retired in 1985.

They both signed up for an oil-painting class, but Mr. Silate decided it wasn't for him.

Mrs. Silate said, "Out of all the classes, I like oil very much, it takes patience."

"More than I've got," Mr. Silate said.

Mr. Silate also found his hobby: He mats and frames his wife's paintings.

"He took a course in framing and matting," said Mrs. Silate. "We get frames at flea markets, and he refinishes them."

"It costs around $70 to mat and frame her paintings at a store, but it costs me practically nothing, just a few dollars," Mr. Silate said.

Mrs. Silate said she has sold seven works, one at the current show.

"I sold a lighthouse painting for $20," she said. "People told me it was worth more, but I haven't sold many so I don't know how to put a price on them.

"I painted it and gave it to my oldest son, then took it back to put it up at the show," Mrs. Silate explained. "The lady bought it, and now I have to paint my son another one."

When she started, Mrs. Silate said she intended to give one painting to each of her five children, ages 39 to 30. But she got hooked, and each child "must have five at least," said Mr. Silate.

The first painting Mrs. Silate did in her oil painting class was "the dreaded jug and fruit" still life, she said. "It's a prerequisite to any other painting, and everyone hates that still life, but after that first one I knew I was hung on art."

The next thing on her palette is the Maryland You Are Beautiful art contest for residents 60 and over. She is entering her painting "Skipjacks, Vanishing Treasures of the Chesapeake."

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