This print, originating in 1999, is by artist, Erma K. Wenger. This is a signed and numbered print, 169/500, titled "A Busy Lady." Wenger's artistic focus is on Lancaster, PA, or Amish Country. Print size is 8X10 and includes an 11X14 double mat.
Art has been Erma K. Wenger's passion for more than 70 years.
Her passion began when she was only 4 years old, she said. She would collect stones of various colors and use them to draw pictures on the sidewalk.
"I was a very creative person," she said.
Wenger progressed to using crayons and chalk and then finally to oils when her aunt gave her an oil paint set at age 12.
Mostly self-taught, the 78-year-old Manheim woman took art classes in high school and a few lessons with renowned art teachers.
She tried pastels and watercolors in high school, but went back to her first love - oils.
"I like to draw and create my own colors. Oil colors are more brilliant than watercolors," she said.
As a young woman, Wenger got into glass motto painting. But as that fad died away, she returned to oil painting.
Even though she was by then raising five children, Wenger still made the time to work on her art. She even involved her family with her art.
The family would be asked to visit churches and other groups, where Wenger would do chalk drawings of Easter, Christmas and "How Great Thou Art" mountain scenes while her children played instruments and her husband, John, give a talk and Scripture readings.
After her youngest child began school, Wenger started giving art lessons in their home.
"When my husband was tired of people coming in (to their home), he built me a special art room to do my painting," she said.
Throughout the years, Wenger took her paintings to art shows. In 1989, her husband suggested she get a stand at Root's Country Market.
But the mountain scenes that Wenger loves to paint didn't sell well locally, she said. So she began specializing in Lancaster County landscapes, Amish scenes and covered bridges to sell to tourists from the United States and other countries.
"I would paint pictures at the stand while waiting on customers and taking orders," Wenger said. "John would come down in the evenings after work to take care of my sales. He loved to sell."
In 2001, Wenger was diagnosed with macular degeneration in her right eye. She lost the central vision in that eye, but still has peripheral vision.
"I thank the Lord that I still have one eye to see and pray to the Lord to save the other eye," she said.
Although dealt a hard blow with the news, Wenger didn't give up painting. Instead, she just cut down on the number of original paintings and made more prints of the ones she already had completed.
In her heyday, Wenger painted an average of 500 to 800 pictures per year, completing each one in just six or seven hours.
"Now I need longer because of my eye," she said.
When her husband retired, he opened a stand with her paintings outside the market in the summer and operated the inside stand in the winter months.
"In the summer months, we would like to see who sold the most prints," she said.
Her husband died of cancer last fall, but Wenger is still at her stand in Area 3 of Root's Market.
"I'll (stay) as long as the Lord gives me strength," Wenger said. (written by Lori VanIngen)
* This item is available to be shipped at the winning bidder's expense.