inspires, students say
LA GRANGE, Ky. Angela Campbell has been painting since childhood.
But it was not until she moved back to her native Kentucky a few years
ago from Chicago that her landscape paintings took on a more personal
by Don Ward
instructor Angie Campbell (right) demonstrates the proper technique
for student Stephanie McKinney
of Crestwood, Ky. Campbell holds
two sessions a week at her studio.
As she watched the farms around Oldham and Henry counties
slowly turn into subdivisions and industrial parks, she set about to
capture the fields on canvas before it was too late.
Shes still painting and has even taught dozens of new students
the art of oils at her Campbell Studio in downtown La Grange, Ky. Twenty-four
of those students will display their work from Nov. 6-19 at the Oldham
County History Center as part of the Campbell Studios third annual
art exhibit. An artists reception is planned from 2 p.m. to 5
p.m. on Nov. 6. Campbell says the shows, which previously were held
at Biscotty Bistro, allow students to show off their hard work and help
Campbell has attracted a loyal following since opening her studio in
1994. But now with an 18-month-old at home, she realizes there will
be many fields that will slip away before she can raise her brush in
one last effort to record their scenic beauty.
The new addition has also slowed her teaching time. But with more people
signing up for her two sessions a week, she vows to add a third session
Campbell lives in Campbellsburg, Ky., with her husband, Andy Akers.
But she paints and teaches in her native Oldham County in a large house
at the east end of Main Street that is listed on the National Register
of Historic Places. Her mother, Lenora used to run an antique shop up
front, but the front rooms now house a law office.
In back, Campbells studio encompasses two rooms of easels and
paintings in all stages of completion. Several of Campbells own
work adorns the walls. Her students gather inspiration from her finished
works, her experience and her teaching style while soft music plays
from a stereo and the smell of fresh coffee wafts through the rooms
during their three-hour painting sessions.
Its pretty formal instruction with an emphasis on mixing
colors, Campbell said. We have a real relaxing environment,
but I get really involved. I want people to get their moneys worth,
especially at the beginning when they are just starting out. Later on,
I let them go on their own.
Her students say they enjoy the freedom but still turn to Campbell for
This is therapy for us, joked two-year student Gina Kaufman
of Crestwood, Ky. Its something Ive always had an
interest in, but I had never had a class or even taken art in high school
prior to coming here. Its just a hobby, but I take it seriously.
Susan Toadvine of Crestwood took lessons from Campbell in the 1980s
when she taught in Louisville. Toadvine started at the La Grange studio
Now that my two sons are out of the house, this is my time, and
Im very protective of it, Toadvine said. Angie is
so encouraging and supportive, and she lets each student develop his
or her own style. And shes fun.
Pam Ludke, who once operated the antique store with Campbells
mother, began taking lessons from Campbell four years ago and next year
plans to begin painting professionally.
Ludke, who now runs the 1887 Corner Store, had one of her baby
shoes paintings featured in a Louisville art groups calendar.
I came over here one day to try it and never left, Ludke
said. Angie can teach at any level, and she seems to go from student
to student and switch gears with ease.
For Campbell, it all began in 1980 when she began painting oils as an
apprentice under Louisville artist Mary Louise Schrodt. Campbell later
worked in Chicago as a commercial artist. She has participated in several
regional juried exhibits.
Back to November 1999