Finding inspiration from above

Artist Joyce Guinty captures Kansas imagery on canvas.

Sometimes, to find the best scenery in Kansas, you have to look up. On a drive up the interstate, Joyce Guinty looked out the window and saw an incredible sky. She filed the color and the clouds away in her memory bank.

Joyce drew on that deposit later, at her easel, when she began painting an iconic scene of a Kansas combine harvesting wheat. She incorporated the amazing sky she saw on that drive into the painting, contrasting the rich blues with the golden hues of the wheat. The result, “Bumper Crop,” has been chosen to appear in the 2018 Art is Ageless calendar.

“I’m real flattered,” said Joyce, an Arkansas City resident. “I was real happy and kind of surprised that I won again, except that I really do like that picture. It was so fun to paint that sky.”

This isn’t the first time Joyce’s work has been recognized in the Art is Ageless program. In fact, she took blue ribbons for three years in the competition at Arkansas City Presbyterian Manor, and two of her pieces were chosen for the 2013 calendar. She decided it was time to take a break and given other artists a chance.

“It is true that you’ll ruin something if you keep on doing it,” Joyce said. “I love to win but not good enough to hurt anything.”

It’s been a few decades since Joyce first picked up a paintbrush, when she and her daughter took their first lessons together at Cowley College. “We had a lot of fun, and then we’d brag on each other,” she said. Joyce went on to take more classes with local teachers Jean Stockton and Mark Flickinger. She also found a group of artists to paint with, and they all became good friends.

Even after 30 years of making art, Joyce said it’s still a thrill to discover what she can do. The only thing she doesn’t like to paint is portraits of people she knows. “You never think the picture shows them as great as they are.”

Joyce finds a lot of inspiration from the front seat of her Model A Ford. She and her husband belong to a Model A club in Wichita.

“We all meet and travel together. You would be surprised, when you take secondary roads, what you see. I take a lot of pictures, and I decided Kansas has got some interesting things to see.”