Marla Walker Makes Room for Art in a Busy Life

It’s been almost 40 years since Anderson Artists Guild member Marla Walker became a real estate agent back in Northern California.

What she relishes is the variety. “You don’t have the same routine every day,” she said. “You never know what’s going to happen.” The career has brought friendships, like the clients from England whom she stayed with during an overseas trip. It has involved evictions, what Walker calls “tough love.” It has presented a challenge akin to a jigsaw puzzle. “I’ve always looked at it as getting all the pieces in the right place for the right house for that family,” she said.

It’s a career that has involved writing a newspaper column about the home as a repository of memories and taking on political responsibility as the director of both the California Association of Realtors and the National Association of Realtors. It’s a career she shares with her husband, Ken, in their business, Anderson Homes of South Carolina. It’s a profession that has changed enormously in the past four decades. “I remember how excited I was when we got a fax machine,” she said.

But work isn’t everything. Walker and her husband have been part of an RV club since soon after moving to the Palmetto State in 1995. They have visited every state, and their most recent trip took them to 11 national parks in the American West.

One of Walker’s proudest accomplishments is cofounding the ABC Club (Anderson By Choice), a local social group that has grown from 40 to about 100 members.

She has also written two children’s books: Grandparents--The More the Merrier! (the purpose of which was to explain divorce in a positive way) and I Shouldn't Have Peeked!

Art has been a more recent addition to Walker’s life. She took a class from fellow AAG member Ruth Hopkins and another class from her daughter’s neighbor, an art teacher who called Walker a natural artist. “That motivated me,” said Walker.

Her preference is watercolor. “I like the surprise of it,” she said. “Things happen that you don’t really control. You move colors around and then after it dries, you see what you have.”

Walker started a group that meets on Wednesdays at the Anderson Arts Center. “It’s been really fun painting together,” she said. “It gets me out from the distractions of home.”

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