Sun: How did you get started as an artist?
Card: I retired in 1997 and didn’t have any real hobbies, so I decided to take an art class at Allan Hancock College. I took a drawing class and then my daughter had taken a watercolor class and didn’t like it so she sent me all her equipment that she bought. So I signed up for a watercolor class. I’ve taken a lot of classes at Hancock; it’s amazing, how well they treat the senior citizens. That’s how I got started. I just continued to take classes. I’m still taking classes over there.
Sun: What are some of your favorite subjects to paint?
Card: I go out to my little painting room during the day and I don’t even know what I’m going to do. Something strikes me–it might be a watercolor or it might be an acrylic. But the subject can be almost anything. I don’t really stick to one subject matter. I liked to paint just about anything. I’ve never stuck to one subject or even one medium. I do watercolor, silk painting, acrylic, pencil drawings, pen and ink. I like it all but I’ve never tried oil.
Sun: How would you describe your style and the way that you paint? What are some of the things that have helped or inspired you along the way?
Card: I really don’t know how to describe it. It can be almost anything. Fortunately, I was in a class with [former Ann Foxworthy Gallery director and teacher] Marti Fast, who retired last year, and her class and the students in it were very imaginative and very cooperative. Everyone had lots of different ideas. She would give us a topic and you’d have 30 different responses to that topic that next week in class. A lot of my inspiration just came from this vague topic thrown out and watching what everybody did with that in mind.
Sun: Some of your paintings feature remote rural areas, farms, grain elevators, and trains. What were those based on or where did you get the idea for them?
Card: It had to be more than 10 years ago; I was traveling from my hometown in Whitefish, Montana, to my birth town of Havre, along Highway 2. I passed a grain elevator and took a photo of it. I did several paintings of that grain elevator. I put them in with boxcars that came from the Great Northern Railroad. I’ve used that grain elevator in quite a few paintings.
Sun: What’s a highlight of being part of the art community in greater Santa Maria?
Card: The art crowd in Santa Maria is very sharing in their techniques and ideas. It seems like there is a lot of camaraderies and that is exciting in itself. If somebody comes up with something new, they are always more than willing to try it out.