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Learning to paint by Youtube gives artist chance to exhibit his visions

Greg Erway had his first experience with painting when he was in high school. Like many adolescent attempts at artistry, Erway's went awry.

"I've always wanted to do it and I tried it in high school and had a really bad experience; what I tried to paint was just horrible. I had a vision of painting a landscape and it was horrible," Erway said. "That experience kept me from picking up a paint brush for the next 40-something years, I guess."

It wasn't until he turned 50 that Erway gained the confidence to try his hand at painting again.

"I kept watching people paint on TV and I just always thought that I could do it. I really wanted to do it, so I tried again," Erway said. "The painting I finally did turned out OK."

Erway went back to landscapes for his return to painting, creating a mountain kingdom ruled over by two elephants, a king and queen. He created the piece for his daughter, who was 12 at the time.

With no formal training, Erway turned to other methods of learning.

"I started watching a lot of Youtube; you can learn anything on there," Erway said.

Erway's work is currently available at the art gallery at Shailah Red Elk The Native Hippy. Last fall, Erway had his very first art show in Medicine Park, and that is where he met Ginny O'Leary. A member of the Lawton-Fort Sill Art Council and general patron of local arts, O'Leary was taken by Erway's work and asked him to come give a demonstration at the Art Council's February meeting.

Erway jumped at the opportunity, though he admits he is a little nervous.

"Probably most the people in there know more about painting than I'll ever know," Erway said. "I'm just going to run with it. I'm actually going to ask them a lot of questions, I'm going to see it as a real learning experience for me, and I hope they enjoy it too."

Erway will be bringing a recent plein air painting to the demonstration. (Plein air is a French term for outdoor painting.) Erway will not be demonstrating plein air painting, but will be using his painting to demonstrate how to paint scenes on a larger scale. He estimates it should take around an hour to complete.

The Lawton Constitution

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