Governor to display local artist’s work
One of the biggest draws to the Tennessee governor’s mansion is the annual Holiday Tour of Trees. This year, a local artist’s work will be displayed as it shimmers on one of the evergreens.
The hand-painted ornament depicts a scene reminiscent of Claiborne County during the Christmas season. A red barn sits in a clearing. Snow is piled everywhere with a footpath leading to the door of the old barn nestled in the woods.
Frances Hensley, who owns Art & Soul Paintings, was chosen by the Tennessee Arts Commission to create an ornament that best represents her county. Hensley was given full creative freedom in her endeavor to represent just what makes Claiborne County stand out from the other 94 counties in our state.
She says she chose to highlight our agricultural heritage while showcasing the beautiful landscape our more rural county has to offer.
The county native says she spent her early childhood exploring the gorgeous hills and dales of her home. About the same time, Hensley says she began to believe in the value of the healing power of art.
She began to use her raw, natural artistic talent to mold what she saw in her minds’ eye, creating some very unique renderings that have given joy to many others.
“I love decorating or making things look appealing and beautiful. Stress is a part of life, but it doesn’t have to be,” said Hensley. “Painting brings out my creative side and makes me happier.
“I love creating anything. My heart, soul and love go into each painting or creation. My goal is to add color to every person’s life I touch.”
Hensley is a graduate of Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate. She resides in New Tazewell with her husband Scott, two sons Joshua and Alex and her dog Echo.
Hensley, who displays her work at the Cumberland Gap Artists’ Cooperative, says she calls the quaint historic town and the time she spends painting her “happy place.”