SHELL KNOB TAB: The color of Joy

Local artist brings beauty through painting in Shell Knob

By Jordan Troutman 

Through her art, Lou Stine has brought color and joy to the Shell Knob area for the past five years.

Stine moved to Shell Knob from southeast Kansas in 2019. She comes from a background in Education of more than 30 years, teaching elementary students before transitioning to an elementary counselor. 

Living on the lake has been an amazing experience, Stine said, and she has been able to explore her artistic side however her heart desires. One of her goals as an artist, however, is to “spread a little joy in the world.”

“I moved here to be with my sweetie,” she said. “I have a small home studio for personal use that I use to do my prep for the business.”

While Stine sells her work, she also has a mobile paint business called Art2Go, and she teaches paint classes and workshops.

“Art2Go is totally mobile,” she said. “I go to locations and set up. I sell the party kits and all of my art sales are online.

“I love to paint, and we live on the lake, which is wonderful because we love to be outside.”

In addition to her passion and her business, Stine and her partner, who already lived in Shell Knob when she moved, love to travel.

“I have kids and a grandbaby in Kansas so we love to visit them,” she said. “And, he has children in New Mexico and Arizona, so we do a lot of traveling in our RV.”

Every spring, the couple travel to Galveston, Texas, for a few weeks, which Stine said is one of her favorites because it is a strictly R&R trip.

“I have always been creative and explored crafty things,” she said. “But, I didn’t get started with painting until I was 48 years old. I started with art journaling, and I really enjoyed the paint the most.”

Stine then went on to take online workshops and online classes to hone in her talent. 

“I just played around with a lot of different mediums and eventually found that I had my own style,” she said. “I really fell in love with it. It is always evolving, and I have this insatiable desire to learn and try new things. My interests change over time.”

While she has used a multitude of media and focal points in her art, Stine definitely has her favorites.

“Florals are one that I’ve stuck with over time,” she said. “But, all the bits and pieces just work their way into what I am doing. I went through a phase of mixed media collages with jewelry pieces.”

Stine aims to bring joy to people through her art, and for her that joy is in the colors. 

“My art is so bright and vibrant,” she said. “I love that, and I enjoy the process of painting and creating – I can just lose myself in that. When someone sees my art and they feel something about, it makes me so happy.”

Stine said she loves teaching the workshops and classes.

“In the workshops, I can teach my process,” she said. “Seeing people learn and have the feeling of accomplishment and magic is so much fun. 

“The paint party is a step-by-step kind of experience. I love it when someone comes in and says they don’t think they can do it, then at the end of the day they did it and they are so proud.”

Stine says she keeps being drawn to oils, but acrylics are her favorite.

“I like the texture and the color of oils,” she said. “But, they take a long time to dry. 

Acrylics dry quickly and I like to paint in layers. I think that is part of the story of the art.”

Stine said she has a complete admiration for people who paint realistically.

“But, I like things that are a little more abstract,” she said. “I like to keep looking and seeing new things as I paint.

“Sometimes I will paint over an old painting — I never throw anything away. I like to leave the original art there and little spots of it peek through. Some paintings have been four or five things before they are sold.”

Stine says when she starts to paint, she doesn’t know where it is going to go.

“I build up the layers and respond to what is there,” she said. “That is the magic. The painting tells me where it wants to go.

“It is a magical process, and it is different every time.”

Stine said when she was growing up she noticed her family was all creative in their own way.

“My dad was great at making things out of nothing and my mom was always doing crafty things,” she said. “But, I am the artist, and I love it.”

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