By Marguerite Sand, Times Union Women's Editor
Art Circles widen and interest in painting grows as the area progresses-culturally speaking. A Winona Lake resident, Mrs. Newton (Marguerite) White, adds her influence to the promotion of an interest in art in our community. A comparative newcomer, she is one of those who were instrumental in bringing about the organization of the Lakeland Art association.
Most of her life Mrs. White has lived in the city. The many diversions offered the metropolitan are not to be found in the small community. When she came to Warsaw, moving later to Winona Lake, Mrs. White was lonely. It was only as she chanced to meet those of a mutual interest-art that she made friends. Today she has found a niche in an environment that was but a few years ago completely foreign to her.
One of six chidren, Mrs. White was born in Middleton, N. Y., the daughter of Zophar and Jenny Greene. The father was a professional singer. The mother was not an artist in the real sense, but her pleasure in decorating and furnishing the home was her outlet, a means of expressing her love of things of beauty. Only one of the other children, a sister, enjoyed working with the tools of the artist -rush, palette, crayon or pencil.
In those earlier days only the fundamentals were taught in the schools, music, art, dramatics were frivolous foibles not needed for the serious business of making a livelihood. It was not until Mrs. White was in high school that her talent was recognized. She was encouraged by a Miss Bartholomew, one of her teachers, to take extra curricular art instruction during her senior year.
After high school, Mrs. White went to work for a professional photographer in New York City. For ten years she was associated with his studio, learning among other things retouching techniques. She liked her work, but was always conscious that something was lacking. She knows now that it was color. For a number of years she was manager of a branch studio, later entered the field of home portraiture work, a profession she followed for five years.
In the meantime she had met her husband, now an engineer with the Carey Construction company in Warsaw, while on a business-pleasure trip to Florida. They had one daughter, Patricia, who as she matured showed considerable talent for painting. About 12 years ago, the daughter, now Mrs. Harold Davidson, a resident of a Cleveland suburb, was attending Centenary college in Hacketstown, N. J., majoring in art. Unconsciously Mrs. White criticized her daughter's work, which Patricia found to be helpful.
One day her daughter said to Mrs. White, "If you are capable of constructively criticizing my work, you are capable of painting. I have enrolled you in a series of art classes." Not wanting to waste the money that had been spent for instruction, Mrs. White took the course, found a whole new world unfolding before her. Living at the foot of the Catskills, spending vacations in the Berkshires she had plenty of opportunity to paint as beauty abounds there throughout the year.
Mrs. White, who has studied under a number of noted painters, including Harold Pone of New York City, and the late Homer Davisson of Fort Wayne, prefers still life. She believes that it challenges the ingenuity and imagination of the artist, as he or she is responsible for composition. It is one thing to tell a story with disassociated objects and quite another to paint a scene set up by nature. In this respect Mrs. White's work is similar to that of another local artist, Mrs. Inez Bolinger who does outstanding work in symbolic still life.
An exhibitor in four states-New Jersey, Connecticut, Ohio and Indiana-Mrs. White has won a number of awards, but one is to her the most gratifying. She is an admirer of President Eisenhower. IN 1951 during his campaign for the presidency, Mrs. White watched him in action on TV. She was so enthused with the personality of the man that she painted his portrait in oils.
The portrait was first entered in competition in the American Artists League, New Jersey chapter exhibit. Taking first place, it was then entered in the League's national showing. Mrs. White, who suffered a coronary embolism and has been seriously ill, did not know what had happened to the painting. When she was able, her husband took her to the art center. Unable to climb the stairs, she waited for him to get it for her. When he returned he was grinning broadly. Turning the picture over, she read the placard which said she had taken first prize. It was a big moment for her, a thrill she will never forget.
Other Artists Help
In the 12 years of artistic endeavor, Mrs. White has belonged to the Art Center of the Orange, East Orange, N.J., the American Professional League, the Lima (Ohio) Art association. She believes her affiliation with the local Lakeland Art association will give her a great deal of pleasure. Working with other artist, Mrs. White pointed out is vital, because it permits the exchange of ideas on technique, mediums and tools. It affords an atmosphere of constructive criticism which is so essential if the artist is to improve.
Mrs. White held a one-man show at the Glen Ridge Country club, Glen Ridge, N. J., and in this locale exhibited at the Fort Wayne Women's club and art museum. At present eight of her paintings are hanging in the lounge and dining room of the Tippecanoe country club.
Admirer of President Eisenhower, Mrs. White poses with oil portrait study of him which won for her a national award in American League competition.
Warsaw Times Union Saturday, 21,
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