Myrl Garment is a chameleon.
Whether it’s work, art, or geography, she is ever willing to change and adapt.
As the daughters of a Navy officer, Myrl and her twin sister were living with their mom in Honolulu when Japanese forces attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. But because both three-year-olds had chicken pox at the time, they and their mother could not evacuate until four months later.
That was one of many moves that included stays in California, West Virginia, Virginia, Nebraska, and even a fjord in Newfoundland, Canada. “I felt like a chameleon,” said Myrl. “My sister and I checked out what people were wearing on the first day of school and then bought school clothes.” She also lived in the U.S. sector of Berlin,
East Germany, with her first husband, who was stationed there in the Army. “We were transferred out for a new duty assignment the day the Berlin Wall went up,” she said.
Myrl attended the University of Nebraska in Omaha intending to become a nurse but was steered into becoming an x-ray technician because of the great demand. She also became a medical assistant and a phlebotomist and worked in hospitals and family practice clinics for over 20 years.
When the heavy lifting led to back problems, she returned to
school to become a travel agent, specializing in adventure travel for 22 years. She has explored many places in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, and
Australia. Her favorite destinations are Kenya and Tanzania. “There’s no hunting,”she said. “You can see the animals in their natural environment.”
Myrl has been married to her husband, Barry, for 46 years. He worked for Boeing on the Apollo program as an accountant to figure out costs. They have a son, Michael, who drives 18-wheelers and lives in Missouri. After retirement, Myrl and Barry moved to Anderson to be closer to her sister, Marion Hursey, and the rest of their family.
Myrl has always loved to draw and remembers a class long ago in which she learned to paint upright with Chinese brushes. But it wasn’t until the move to South Carolina that she got serious about art. She has tried pen and ink drawing and collage but prefers watercolor. “I like the blending,” she said.
She meets with a group every Thursday at the Anderson Arts Center, where they have rented space for a decade to paint together. “Each of us do our own thing and critique each other,” she said. “I like the friendship, the good laughs, and learning from others.”
She’s been a member of the Anderson Artists Guild ever since moving here and has had her paintings exhibited in a number of shows and won several awards.
Myrl Garment’s work can be seen in the Artists Guild display case on the first floor of the Anderson Arts Center from March 12 to May 12.