Last year, Maecy Meadows won a few free art lessons. This year, her art won a few awards.
Maecy is one of three young artists from Thomson to win ribbons and prizes at area fairs last month. Maecy won first place and best of show at the Georgia-Carolina State Fair in Richmond County with an acrylic painting of a sea turtle. Seven-year-old Maecy also won two second-place ribbons for a pastel painting of a puppy and an oil painting of a waterfall.
"My favorite is the waterfall one," Maecy said. "I like to paint a lot of sea animals and dogs."
Kevin Jones, 9, won best of show and first place in the oil division of the Columbia County Merchants Fair with his painting of a bear, and second place with his acrylic painting of a lake.
"But mostly, I like drawing with pencil," the Thomson Elementary third-grader said.
"I like to draw animals."
Abby O'Connor, who is 7 and a pupil at Briarwood Academy, also won first place at the Georgia-Carolina State Fair with a pastel print of a deserted island with a palm tree. Abby also won second place with an acrylic painting of a squirrel on a tree trunk.
All three children take art lessons at Miss Charlene's School of Art, between Appling and Thomson.
Kevin, the son of Charles and Kim Jones, said his art won at the fair two years ago, when he was taking art at a private school in Augusta.
"Then, when we transferred to Thomson, there is no art teachers in the public schools, so we were grateful to read about Miss Charlene in The McDuffie Mirror," Mrs. Jones said.
Maecy's artistic experience began when she won four lessons from Miss Charlene in a drawing last year at Thomson's Festival Off Main. Her lessons started in May, and Maecy said although she's always been good at drawing, she has learned a lot.
"It's hard to get the details in the right place," she said. "But then you actually get to that thing that you wanted to do in the first place after you finish with the background, like the turtle or the dog, and then it's fun."
Maecy is in first grade at Augusta Preparatory Day School and is the daughter of Cindy and Darren Meadows. Maecy said she prefers mixing paints and making different colors. But she is expanding her horizons.
"Right now, what I'm working on in art class is a dog at the beach. So, it's water and it's a dog, which is what I like, but I'm doing it in pencils, so it's a lot more harder," she said.