Two ladies busy painting Abbeville architecture

Maria Randolph (front) and Denise Broussard paint the St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Abbeville.

Written by Laura Trahan

It is a beautiful, yet slightly windy day in Abbeville, and Maria Randolph and Denise Broussard are busy painting oil portraits of the St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, one of some of the historic buildings in Abbeville that graced their canvas.
“This is my fourth building. I painted this church, the other church (St. Mary Magdalen), Black’s and Magdalen Place,” said Randolph.
The two painters have been here for about three weeks, and have so far painted pictures of those places, finding a nice place outside to do their work. Broussard and Randolph are part of the Lafayette Art Association, a non-profit organization that aims to inspire and educate others in visual arts. It also sets up galleries and displays throughout the area.
“I like to paint the churches,” said Broussard, whose website shows different ones from Louisiana and Florida. “I’m doing a series of churches and Abbeville has a lot of beautiful churches as well as historical buildings.”
“I’m painting historical buildings of interest around this area,” said Randolph. “I live in Maurice, and Denise and I have been painting together for about three years and we travel all over. We paint wherever there’s a landscape.”
Both of them have blogs showcasing their works, though it is more of a hobby for them. They also have paintings on display at some exhibits throughout the area. They are what some may call “plein air,” or “open air,” artists who tend to do more of their painting outside than indoors. They have even created an open group on Facebook called “Happy Medium” to attract artists who use different styles such as acrylics, watercolor and sketching, and they encourage any and all of them to join.
“It is open to all artists,” said Broussard, “and we’re actually getting more and more artists to paint with us. Yesterday, we had two other people painting with us.”
They have painted together for three years and have traveled to Mississippi and Florida among other places to paint or enter art competitions and usually paint wherever there is a great area to do so. Broussard commented on how there is a lot to paint around Abbeville.
The two of them show their work throughout the state, mostly around this area, and they both have upcoming shows around Lafayette.
“We do it for fun,” said Broussard. “I have a show right now at Lafayette Art Association, and Maria’s going to have a show at Poupart’s.
The two of them enjoy plein air painting very much, and the people around them also seem to take interest in what they are doing, and that helps encourage them to continue their art.
When asked what they enjoy about it, Randolph replied, “The fresh air, and just the camaraderie of being able to get together with a bunch of different artists. This is such a friendly area. Everybody stops to visit and to see what we’re doing.”
“We meet people all the time. People take an interest, and that’s what keeps us going - people’s interest,” Broussard added.
As mentioned, the two of them have their own blogs and websites where others can view their previous paintings and exhibits. Broussard’s is http://denisebroussardartist.blogspot.com/ and Randolph’s is www.mariarandolph.com, which also links to her own Blogspot page.

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