A stay-at-home mom who worked part-time at her daughter’s school, Kris Blum never anticipated that art would become such a passion – let alone, a career. But taking a McHenry County College art class in 2001, at age 50, changed all that.

“I took a class at MCC with Diane Wlezien in beginning watercolors. I thought ‘This would be really cool,” Blum said. “But I got to the point, since I was painting so much, (that I said) w0hat am I going to do with this?”

One art show led to another, which begot a studio at her home, The Inspired Studio, just west of the Fox River off Route 14, at 1316 Spring Beach Way. Now she is opening her doors to the public, providing other artists a venue for displaying their work.

Artist Lois DiPerna of Johnsburg will exhibit her work – colored-pencil drawings of elephants, big cats, bears and koalas – at Blum’s house Nov. 14-29. An opening reception is planned 1 to 5 p.m. Nov. 14-15. Call 847-516-2384 for studio hours.

DiPerna will be offering prints and note cards, as well as her original drawings and paintings. Also on display will be a limited number of paintings by Blum. Her repertoire includes oil landscapes and “intuitive” watercolors.

“It’s using your intuition and using your feelings to let yourself go and let the paint kind of lead you,” Blum said. “There are no constraints. I might start with something, but as you get into it just takes you somewhere else.”

Blum teaches classes and hosts shows, including an exhibition by Wlezien in December. She also remains an enthusiastic student.

“It has kind of been a whole different area for my life to go to,” she said. “I often said to myself, the next time I come back I’m going to come back to do art from the very beginning. I’m not waiting so long.”

Posted by imran Thursday, October 29, 2009


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