When Dixie Lee Haddock was a little girl, her family joked that she would paint anything that stood still.
As a child in Niles, Kan., she painted snowmen and poinsettias on the windows of her parents’ farm equipment store every Christmas. And the Easter lily she painted on the church window stayed until the church was torn down.
After her three children were grown, Dixie Lee returned to painting — this time on canvas. This year, two of her paintings were chosen to be reproduced as greeting cards in Presbyterian Manors’ systemwide Art is Ageless® competition.
“I just think it’s a good thing for older people to do. People need to keep busy,” Dixie Lee said. “Some people will say, ‘I don’t know how to do that.’ Well, I say, just try.”
Dixie Lee won for her paintings “Pretty Poppies” and “Santa is Watching You.” Flowers are her favorite subject, she said, because they’re not too difficult. She also painted portraits of all her children and grandchildren, and she recently completed one of her 1-year-old great-granddaughter.
“It’s a challenge to get it to look just right,” she said. “I want the iris to look like an iris, and want this portrait to look like this person.”
Dixie Lee enjoys helping out with the Art is Ageless exhibit every year, and this year she even recruited her friend and fellow painter Julia Stanley into entering for the first time. Julia’s painting, “Morning Flight,” also went on to win at the systemwide level and will be featured in the 2016 Art is Ageless® calendar.
Dixie Lee and Julia both participate in an oil painting group that meets every Thursday to work on their latest projects. Dixie Lee also takes a weekly watercolor class in Abilene.
“We call it our group therapy,” she said.