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Portraits offer their own kind of challenge.

"I was in my 40s when I got back into art," she said. "My father saw me win my first blue ribbon at an art show and he cried. That's when I knew he had wanted to be an artist."

Lester has studied with such well known portrait artists as Daniel Green, Irving Shapiro, William Schultz and Kevin McPherson.

"I love the challenge," she said. "I love the freshness and the spontaneity of watercolors."

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acrylic, pastels, pencils but her favorite is watercolor.

Lester's commissioned works can be seen in many private Jordan Air 17 and corporate art collections across the country. She has won numerous best of show awards, including best of show at last year's Tri State Arts Association Juried Exhibition 2006, which appeared at the Huntington Museum of Art from Aug. 5 to Sept. 10 last year.

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She said she loves to draw from live models, but that she rarely does it because most people are too busy to sit for portraits. So, to capture the personality of her subject, she said she likes to be able to meet and talk with her subject and to have several different snapshots to work from.

Eventually, Lester's father gave her that old paint set and she as delighted.

"It was like a hunger to me," she said of her desire to create art.

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She has dabbled in a variety of media Air Jordan 28 Shoes

When Lester takes a commission, she gives herself a six week deadline; not only does she try to create a likeness, she tries to convey a personality.

"Sometimes it takes longer than six weeks; sometimes it doesn't take that long," she said.

But when both her parents took ill and Lester was their caregiver, she returned to sketching and drawing as she spent time by Jordans 12 Retro Pink And White

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Before taking a studio in the Pendleton Art Center, Lester spent 10 years as artist in residence at the Ashland Area Art Gallery. She also has a studio at her home in Ashland.

their bedsides.

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"My father had this old cabinet and inside it, he had this old oil painting set," she recalled. "I wasn't allowed to touch it but every time I opened the door and smelled the turpentine and the paint, it did something to me. I wanted to be a part of that world."

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accepts most commissions for portraits because she loves people.

"Doing faces is my focus," she said. "I love to study people's faces and guess what's behind those eyes."

Although the award winning oil/watercolor artist takes on all subjects, she most enjoys and Air Jordan 2 Retro Low On Feet

Eventually, she put art aside to work as an executive secretary at Ashland Oil and then to raise her family.

Lester was born in Ashland and graduated from Boyd County High School. Her interest in art goes back to childhood, when she loved to draw and longed to learn more about art.

"Building my studio was my husband's first project after he retired," she said. "He's my main support."

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portrait painter says

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