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Painter shares lifelong passion

Staff writer

Letty Enns, of rural Hillsboro, has been painting for as long as she can remember, but she is still passionate enough about it to become engrossed in her work.

“I can start painting and suddenly look up, and it’s 2 o’clock in the morning,” she said. “But it feels like I just started.”

Her passion for painting led to teaching a weekly class at Trinity Mennonite Church. Classes are 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Mondays. The six to eight students who frequent the classes have impressed Enns.

“There’s a lot of talent in Hillsboro,” she said.

Visitors to the church’s fellowship hall can see Enns’ largest painting yet — an interpretation of the Last Supper, approximately 36 inches wide and 50 inches tall. Enns said she began work on the painting about 20 years ago, but set aside the project for several years. She completed the painting about two years ago, and dedicated it to her late husband, Homer Enns.

She mostly works with oil and watercolors, but she also enjoys some work in pencil. Enns paints flowers, landscapes, and birds, but her favorite subjects are people. Portraits are challenging for her, and challenges are good, she said.

One portrait Enns painted earned her Best-in-Show about three years ago at the Kansas State Fair.

She took a snapshot of her brother-in-law, Lauren Enns, and his wife, Luetta, at a family reunion. When Enns saw the love in their eyes in the picture, she knew she wanted to capture it in a painting. It is one of two Best-in-Show awards she has earned.

About four years ago, Hillsboro Furniture manager Brenda Coryea approached Enns about displaying artwork at the store. Coryea wanted to showcase local art at the downtown store, and she was familiar with Enns’ work.

“It’s nice to have local art,” Coryea said.

Enns is pleased with the way the paintings are displayed at the store. It is nice for people to see her work, she said. She offers some of her paintings for sale at Hillsboro Furniture, and some have been sold.

Enns encourages her students to display their work at the store, but she has not had any takers yet. If they build up a collection as large as Enns has, they might change their minds, she said.

“You can’t see my walls,” Enns said.

Last modified Feb. 25, 2010

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