Rural Missouri - May 2021 - 44

by Heather Berry
hberry@ruralmissouri.coop

H

Feather Light

Hollister woman paints
with a gentle touch

44

RURAL MISSOURI | MAY 2021

er brush looks like one most
people would throw away,
with its scarce long bristles
pinched into the metal base.
To use it would be a bit like painting
with a blade of grass, but for Tina
Richards, it's perfect for the tiny
world she brings to life.
	 Amazingly enough, a decade ago
the Hollister real estate agent didn't
paint at all. She saw a woman painting on feathers at a Branson festival
and couldn't get over the beautifully
detailed artwork.
	 " As I went on over her work, she
said, 'Oh, it's a paycheck,'  " says Tina.
" I thought 'If she can do it for a paycheck, I can do it because I like it.'  "
	 She shared the conversation with
her husband, Eric, then began her
search for feathers. Armed with
acrylic paints and brushes, Tina began outlining a little red fox on what
would become her first painting.
	 " Within a year I was painting an
entry for the Ducks Unlimited Missouri competition. Then someone at
Silver Dollar City called and invited
me to paint during their fall festival, "
Tina says, noting this fall will be her
ninth year painting at the park.
	 Her Ducks Unlimited entry - a
painting of two hooded merganser
ducks in water - garnered her first
big win in 2015.
	 Through the years, Tina has perfected her technique through trial
and error. " You learn things like what
glue to use and how feathers do or
don't take paint. You create some
pretty rough stuff sometimes. It takes
a lot of patience, " she says.
	 The artist says you can't paint on
any feather you find. " You can only
use feathers from birds you can legally shoot or legally raise, " Tina says.
To do otherwise is breaking federal
law. She often purchases her feathers from reputable online sources or
taxidermists.
	 Tina says a few dots of paint can
sometimes last for an entire feather
painting. " Acrylics are easiest to work
with because they're forgiving as you
work, " she says. It can take as few
as eight hours or up to two weeks to
complete a detailed painting according to Tina.
	 An image can be a small work on



Rural Missouri - May 2021

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Rural Missouri - May 2021 - Contents
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Rural Missouri - May 2021 - Cover3
Rural Missouri - May 2021 - Cover4
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