To unwind from her high-stress job as a critical care nurse, new Anderson Artists Guild member Michelle Fowler turned to art, trying just about every medium. She even spent three week-long vacations traveling from her home in Atlanta to a training center in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, to become a Bob Ross instructor, sharing her new skills with friends and family. She also took commissions for pet portraits from her hospital colleagues.
Though her love of painting has only grown, her life changed dramatically last year after she retired. She and her high school sweetheart—whom she had not seen in 48 years—had reconnected via social media. At the time, she was divorced and he was widowed. “He looked for me for years on Facebook and finally found me,” said Fowler. “We met and fell in love all over again.”
They married, retired and settled in Anderson, which was halfway between their homes in Atlanta and Columbia. They bought a house outside of town with some interesting neighbors, including turkeys, a skunk, and bear. And the place features Fowler’s dream studio—a daylight basement. “I love it,” she said. “It’s my favorite room in the house. I feel peaceful when I go down there.”
Fowler grew up in a family where get-togethers always erupted into group art projects. “After the Thanksgiving meal, we’ll go downstairs and do something artsy,” she said. “Even on vacation together, we bring art supplies.”
Inspired by her two grandchildren as well as the natural world, Fowler has experimented with oils, acrylics, pastels, pen and ink, fiber art, and mixed media. “I’m not a master at anything,” she said. “I just like to try everything.”