Interview with a Southern Belle

Where are you from?

I spent the first eighteen years of my life growing up in north central Louisiana with my very large extended family and friends.

How long have you been in this area?

We have been in this area for 52 years. Luther, my husband of 51 years, and I came here from El Paso, Texas in 1960. He was an Engineer for Sun Oil Co. for 35 years before his death a year ago. Our house was built in 1929 on a private lane and it's been our home in Media for 44 years. We lived in San Francisco and Alberta, Canada for a few years. This house is a perfect show place for your art work.

Do you/did you work outside of home? What did/do you do?

In 1976, I helped open Claire's Boutique in the Granite Run Mall where I became manager for 10 years.....then was a district supervisor for eleven of their stores for another 2 years. My favorite job though was for Old Marple Vet. Hospital where I worked in the office and got to know and love the animal clients........even adopted a cat from there.

What are your hobbies?

When I was much younger I had lots of hobbies but have slowed down some now. Gardening was always my favorite but now a handyman does all the outside area and I take care of the orchids and many plants inside. I still love to do embroidery, crewel embroidery and cross-stitch. Baking and cooking is still something that I enjoy.......especially for Kat and Nate,my grandchildren.

What brings you joy in life?

Like most grandparents, I have to say that my grandchildren, Kat and Nate, have brought much joy to my life every day for the past 19 years. Their home is always so full of laughter, singing, sports conversation and animals. I feel much joy when my family and friends come to visit. Trips back home to Louisiana bring me joy and fill my heart with love.

You collect several artists including myself. How many of my paintings do you own now?

I have purchased six original paintings of which I've given two as gifts to friends.

Which ones?

The originals I have in my home are:

Up, Up and Away

Beltie Balloons


Autumn Cows 1

I gave the original of " Fairy Cows" to an artist friend, Iris Innes and "Escaping With My Friends" to my son, Marty. I liked those two so much that I bought a print of them for myself.

Do you have a favorite?

It's hard to say that I have a favorite. They all say something different to me. My first two purchases were the hot air balloons because I was going through such a difficult time with Luther's illness that I wanted to float away in one of the balloons. The funny cows with no faces make me smile deep down. As of now I don't have any of your couch people or cats.

What made you want to collect my paintings?

I first saw your paintings in my daughter, Donna Sottung's home. She has quite a few of the cows and she commissioned you to do one for her daughter's graduation.........which by the way was awesome!!! Donna took me to your open house where I fell in love with so many of them. I knew from just looking at them one time that they would make me smile and feel good every time I walked into a room with them in it.

What is your favorite thing about my work?

Color! Color! Color! and what is happening in each painting.

You also commissioned me to do a painting for your son. Why did you think that he would like my art?

I asked you to paint "Escaping With My Friends" for my son Marty. The painting depicts him as the soft adorable Beltie, his hunting buddies as the camouflage cow and his colorful fun friends floating away from or arriving at his farm. I knew he would love the concept, the colors and the memories it held for him. He loves all the KOH paintings he's seen.

Which other artists do you collect?

I have five art boxes hanging on my walls, one table box and two large oil paintings done by Iris Innes and a Shaker style floor clock made by her husband who also makes fine furniture. Her art work and a video can be seen at I also have originals painted by my husband, my sister and a dear friend from Louisiana. Karen, all these and yours mean more to me than the Wyeth and Scarborough that I have.

If you could change the world in one significant way, what would it be? As all hopeful Miss America's say "I would wish for world peace" BUT seriously at my age I would like to see more kindness and love going out to everyone we know.

Thank you Nelva for your support of my art and other artists. Without people like you, we wouldn't be able to do what we do :0)