O'NEILL, Neb. -- What a treat it was to get the opportunity to peek inside the beautiful world that Marlene Seevers has created in her downstairs art studio, where she's spent thousands of hours, not only painting for herself, but sharing her love of china painting with students she started teaching in the mid 80's.
"When you start out with china painting, you start out with white china and you put your pattern on," Seevers said.
Seevers has always loved the feel of a paint brush in her hand.
"I always liked art. My dad was very artistic and he instilled that in me," Seevers said. "He could do anything."
Seevers continues to benefit from the steady hand she says she inherited from her father.
"I always wanted to do china painting, but had no opportunity."
That opportunity finally arose in O'Neill in 1978, and Marlene and her friends started a club a few years later.
Part of the appeal of porcelain, to Seevers, is its durability.
"Porcelain or china, it's an interchangable term, it will last forever," Seevers said. "It can be broken and they're still digging up things, but it is really non-destructible. Wood can burn up, but porcelain..."
When you think about painting china, you might think Seevers just paints on dinnerware, but that is only the beginning. She decorates porcelain thimbles and eggs, and she even painted her childhood home on a flat piece of china.
"See, a lot of these have been featured in magazines," Seevers said.
And a fair amount of them have won awards at the Nebraska State Fair.
"Roses are difficult and I love to do roses," she said.
And just how difficult are they?
"When I'm going to paint a rose, I make like a "C" stroke," she said.
Well, I'm hear to tell you that I painted some roses that didn't turn out very rosy.
"Marlene, this is not a flower," she says. "This is a mess, this is not gonna work. Now turn it upside down. Oh, there it is!"
Let's just say I got a new appreciation for Marlene's incredible gift and the number of roses she's painted over the past 40 years, which she estimates to be, "thousands and thousands and thousands."
And, at 84 years of age, she still loves it.
"If you enjoy it, it's pleasure," she said.
And Seevers has brought pleasure to a lot of her customers over the years.
"I have a lot of her pieces and I just like china painting," Emily Cronk said. "She's a very good painter and she's a very good friend."
Cronk has appreciated getting to know Seevers over the past 30 years.
"She does good work, she's a good Christian person, she's just a nice lady," Cronk said.
This Madison, Nebraska native says her husband, Vernon, has been very supportive of her throughout the years. Whether she's been working on her calligraphy or her greeting cards or her yearly tradition of painting bible pictures
Seevers says some of her greatest artistic achievements have been creating complete sets of hand-painted dinnerware for her four children & five grandchildren.
And if you'd like to purchase any of Marlene's art, go to the Lance's Journal Facebook page and I'll show you how to get in contact with this masterful artist.