BROWNSTOWN

Rain forced artists and craftsmen setting up shop at Brownstown/Ewing Main Street Artsfest inside for the second year in a row.

It didn’t, however, dampen the spirits of a young painter just getting her feet wet Saturday inside W.R. Ewing.

“I think it’s really, really fun,” Taylor Baughman said. “There’s been a lot of nice people comment on my art.”

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Someone even purchased her first painting, which was a portrait of Jesus.

Organizer Brian McIntosh said the storms that raced through the area early Saturday morning, leaving behind about 3 inches of rain, forced organizers to make some changes to the day’s schedule.

“Why couldn’t it have been like this at 6 o’clock?” McIntosh said shortly after noon Saturday as the sun began making an appearance.

“We had a lot planned that didn’t work out, but a lot did work out,” he said. “We’re happy with it regardless.”

McIntosh said it’s hard to plan around the weather.

“This time of year with an outdoor festival, you’re kind of at the mercy of the weather,” he said. “You never really know. We try to be as innovative as we can and have some inside venues.”

Many of the activities, including performances by local musician Joe Persinger and the band Nutshell from the Evansville area, were moved from the stage at Heritage Park across from the courthouse to W.R. Ewing.

An antique tractor and farm machinery show scheduled for one side of the courthouse along with other events in downtown Brownstown were canceled, but a lot of the artists and craftsmen and women were moved inside to W.R. Ewing.

“Our vendors are selling a lot of stuff,” McIntosh said. “We have a lot of customers. People are going in with money and out with packages. That’s the big thing.”

By early afternoon, the weather had improved enough that local artist Maureen Pesta was even able to venture outside to do a pastel of the restored Ewing Depot.

Baughman said her interest in art began when she was about 11 or 12.

“I was just doodling in notebooks just to hang up something in my room because I didn’t want to buy posters,” she said. “And then there was an art program at my school.”

The art teacher gave her watercolors.

“I had never really painted before, and I started painting, and everyone seemed to like it, so I ventured out into other forms of art,” Baughman said.

Her biggest fans were her family and friends, she said.

“And sometimes even people I didn’t know who would see it on Facebook,” Baughman said. “They would really like it.”

She now paints with acrylic, a water-soluble medium.

Baughman said her father, Todd, has provided some of the inspiration for her paintings, including one that features baseball legends Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb.

“He’s really into baseball,” she said.

He father once quizzed her about the two baseball legends from the past.

“I knew they were rivals,” Baughman said.

So she decided to paint the pair together.

“I just thought it would be really cool,” Baughman said. “I went and bought black canvas. I love painting on black canvas because I think it really makes the colors pop out.”

That really worked well for the piece on Ruth and Cobb, she said.

The portrait of Jesus also came about because of her dad.

“He really liked my drawings, and he handed me some paints and said, ‘Paint me something for Father’s Day,’ especially because a lot of pictures of them are black and white,” she said.

In the future, Baughman plans to explore the possibility of making a living from being an artist, but if it doesn’t work out, she has other options.

“I’m pretty good at school,” she said. “I might just go to school for something else and have this as a side thing.”

Another one of her favorite subjects is Albert Einstein because she said she found him interesting to paint.

Artsfest was the first chance Baughman has had to display her work locally, but two years ago, she made the cover of McGraw-Hill CTB’s 2015 Student Art Calendar. Her art also was displayed with the December 2015 pages of the calendar.

Baughman said having people view her paintings and give her compliments about her talent is great and a real confidence builder.

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Aubrey Woods is editor of The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at awoods@tribtown.com or 812-523-7051.