Norseffees Grill (3rd St Diner) RVA
28" x 32"
The former Edith Lemon of Youngstown, who developed her painting talents in night classes at Butler Art Institute,has gained continued recognition for portrait and landscape work at her home in Richmond, VA.
Since she married Drewry Deford in1949 and moved South, Mrs. Deford has had several paintings on exhibit at teh Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. She is a daughter of Mrs.John Lemon, 256 Lora Avenue.
A story about her in The Richmond News Leader recently describes her paintings as "modern art in a traditional setting."
Mrs Deford began specializing in portraits while she painted in Youngstown and won several awards. She won second prize in the Butler's 1941 New Year Show, and a first in the 1943 New Year. At the Ohio Valley Oil and Water Color Show she took first prize in 1942. Mrs. DeFord also held a one-man show at the Butler Art Institute in 1947. Her work won the popular prize for the Spring Salos of the Butler Institute in1946 for "Junior Miss" , 1947, and 1948.
Besides portraits she is skilled in figure grouping, city and New England coastal scenes. Her simple, understated style contrasts with the formal traditional, dark-toned portraits and landscapes on the walls of her home.
Mrs. Deford received all her classroom instruction at Butler Art Institute and in a summer session at Cleveland School of Art. Because she was employed as a secretary in a downtown office, she did most of her painting on weekends and vacations.
"I began painting just because I was interested in it," she said in a recent interview. "I don't think my style has changed much over the years. I hope that I've improved, but I don't think I have changed my approach. My colors, perhaps are a little fresher." She describes her technique as "just struggling along. There must be an easier way to do it than mine." "I feel strrongly that design is something that can't be achieved by following rules too closely, but that it asserts itself through the artist's paintings from his heart."
She sold a painting to Longwood College for its permanent collection of Virginia Artists, and later was commissioned to do one for the permanent collection of the Oakridge Elementary School in Arlington.