The Laurel Magazine

Laurel Magazine is a monthly magazine guiding you where to shop, play, dine, and stay in Highlands NC and Cashiers NC.

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Phone: (828) 526-0173

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  • Laurel Contributor

Where the Happy Lives

by Donna Rhodes

It’s always a joy to visit Smitten’s Deb Hudson and see what new kinds of happy fill her current canvases. This time it’s bears and cows and pigs and pets, each portrayed in a state of creative critter bliss.

Take Pigtini, a pudgy little piglet snuggled into a cocktail glass. Or his cousin, Bearbon, a bear curled up in a bourbon glass. Or Cabearnet, a snockered bear in a wine glass.

And who could resist a cow, with those big, dark, soulful eyes? Or a customized portrait of a personal pet – dog, cat, donkey, goat, parrot, or ferret? Deb is prepared for almost any commissioned critter that your heart desires. Pick from watercolor, acrylic, alcohol ink, color pencil, or creamy pastels.

When Deb is at her best, and she’s always at her best, she is painting from her heart’s core where the happy lives. Happy also permeates her teaching. Watching her students snap up new information, apply it to their own styles, and experience dozens of a-ha moments, for Deb, is close to The Divine.

“This year I am experimenting with cold wax and acrylic,” says the artist who adores new mediums. “I mix them together with a palette knife and apply the concoction to a canvased board. The results are rich, splendid, vibrant colors with a completely different, dimensional look.”

Deb also donates her talents to worthwhile projects. She paints flags for the Village Green Plein Air Fest. She watercolors every dog for adoption. And she offers to her paying customers the privilege of making her images into greeting cards without additional charge or copy restriction.

In addition to seeing her work at Smitten, where you can pick up her business card, you can also view pieces at the General Store at Mountaintop. For information, call (205) 388-2438. Or email debhud@mac.com.

Don’t miss her, live and in person, along with a roomful of happy on Third Thursday at Smitten, August 15, from, 5:30 P.M. ‘til the fat lady sings and the cows come home.

Smitten’s is located at 468 Main Street in Highlands. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 11:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.; and Sunday from 1:00 to 5:00 P.M.; call (828) 526-9300. or email kat@smittenofhighlands.com.