Local artist paints ornament for capitol’s Christmas tree

Barbara Schaffner hold up the hand-painted ornament she painted for the Capitol Christmas tree in Cheyenne.


WHEATLAND – A Wheatland artist was recently asked by Wyoming first lady Jennie Gordon to paint an ornament representing Platte County for the capitol’s Christmas tree.
The result: a design created by Barbara Schaffner depicting Santa Claus skating at one of the county’s many recreational lakes and reservoirs. She named the ornament “County of Lakes.”
Schaffner, who has owned the Wyoming Trails Gallery in Wheatland since 2001, said she experimented with different kinds of paint to determine what would work best on the glass ball.
“I practiced painting with my oil paint, which I found does not work,” Schaffner said. “I bought acrylic paint and played with them for a while. That worked out very well.”
Schaffner said her art works “start out with an idea, and then you let the painting progress with the best things you see happening and so it always ends up better than you thought.”
Schaffner taught junior high art in Texas, then taught three years at Eastern Wyoming College and at the Halsey Autumn Art Workshops in Halsey, Nebraska for five years.
She teaches workshops in oil, watercolor, pastel and drawing when requested.
She holds an associate’s degree from Eastern Wyoming College and graduated with honors from West Texas State University in Canyon, Texas with a bachelor’s degree in fine art and art education.

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