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Blue Earth club hosts World Organization of China Painters

By Staff | Oct 13, 2008

Blue Earth’s Rural Roses Club will host the 11th Biennial Convention of the Minnesota World Organization of China Painters on October 16-18 at Pemberton Auditorium.

This is the fourth time that the local chapter has hosted this event. It will feature paint-alongs with accomplished china painters Sharon Snook and Ann Zitterkopf from Colorado and Texas respectively. Demonstrations will be conducted the first two days of the convention with the entire Pemberton gym floor filled with vendors coming from Texas, Colorado, Missouri, California, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Portugal.

The three-day event schedule will include registration, guest speakers, paint-alongs, museum competition, meals, demonstrations and a raffle. All events are open to the public.

According to convention organizer, Helen Petersen, the event has taken two years to organize.

“This convention is wonderful for Blue Earth,” says Petersen. “China painters from as far away as Alabama will be present and they love to browse our downtown specialty stores.”

“The more we educate, the more china painters we get,” replied Petersen when asked why the convention was being held again in Blue Earth. “We are teaching people what china painting is all about.”

Currently, there are eight china painting clubs in Minnesota, totaling about 100 members. Blue Earth’s club, the Rural Roses, began in 1992 with 18 members and was named by Petersen.

Originally, china painters were all men, according to Petersen, but now most are women who range in age from 50-70 years.

“China painting is very time-consuming, so most people start or resume this hobby after their children are grown,” says Petersen. “You don’t need any special skills, you just need the desire.”

Supplies needed to start this hobby include a kit which consists of a palette, brushes, paints and a plate.

“It is a less expensive pastime than scrapbooking or stamping,” says Petersen, “The paint can last up to 20 years.”

After much persuasion from her sister, Joan Frandle, Petersen switched to china painting in 1991 after working for many years with oil and fabric painting.

“I sold all of my oils and acrylics after finding out how relaxing china painting was. It is something like counted cross-stitch where you start with a blank canvas, then sit back and see what you’ve done and say ‘wow!’ It’s just amazing.” says Petersen.

China painting is something that people just can’t “whip out.” The process takes at least three firings before a piece is completed.

Having a steady hand is not required in this medium either, since you can start over anytime that you wish – simply by wiping off the paint from your plate. Nothing is permanent until it has been fired.

China painting is also a hobby for all ages, with classes for youth beginning at age six.

One of the highlights of the Blue Earth convention is that club members will get to vote on the china paintings entered in the museum competition. The top four vote-getting entries then will be put on display for two years, until the next convention, at the international headquarters in Oklahoma City.

How do you get started in china painting? That’s what the convention is all about. Anyone interested in this hobby can find a teacher anywhere in the U.S. – locally speak to Frandle or to Petersen.

Better yet, take the time to browse the displays at the 11th Biennial Convention of the Minnesota World Organization of China Painters and ‘Imagine the Possibilities.’