The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.office
    NEW OFFICES—Fayette village administrator Steve Blue speaks with tax administrator Genna Biddix at the new front desk of the village office. Village council members voted to use budgeted renovation funds targeted for the old office and instead buy the vacant bank building on the corner of Main and Fayette streets. The old office was sold to Sherwood State Bank. When everything is put into place in the spacious new village office, an open house will be scheduled. Council member David Wheeler donated all of his time needed to make changes in the bank interior to fit the Village’s needs.

Susan Miller creates art with a ball point pen 2011.02.02

Written by David Green.

susan_millerBy DAVID GREEN

With oil paints, the artist can cover up a mistake. With pastels, an eraser can fix the problem.

But with ball point pen ink? Well, you better not make a mistake, says artist Susan Miller, because your options for setting it straight are limited.

Susan ought to know; she’s had experience in each of the three media.

“My mom is very talented so I’ve been surrounded by art,” she said.

When she was a student at Chesterfield High School, she said her art teacher saw potential and gave her some challenging projects.

“I took a few pastel portrait lessons, but most of it I inherited from my mom.”

Her dream career would have been working as a portrait artist, but the former Fayette resident now living in Morenci never tried to make a career out of art.

Instead, oils and pastels were simply a pastime she enjoyed.

Her art took an unexpected turn a couple of years ago when her son wanted to get a tattoo and asked his mother for some designs. It wasn’t just a rudimentary sketch that she produced. Working with a ball point pen, Susan turned out some detailed drawings.

“I enjoyed doing this and I seemed to have a knack for it,” she said. “I just really took to liking the pen.”

Now she’s turning out detailed drawings using only a common ball point. A collection of her drawings will go on display this week in the Stair Public Library Annex.

“Western themes have always been my preference in oils and pastels,” Susan said, and that’s carried on into her current work.

miller_kneelingHer daughter, Megan, a senior at Morenci Area High School, takes photographs at rodeos and Susan converts many of them into ink drawings.

A detailed drawing might take 60 or 70 hours to complete, although the time is hard to estimate. Working at home, Susan might draw for a while, then move on to laundry, then return to the pen, then be off making dinner. It’s also a daytime project with her drawing table positioned near her living room window.

“I only work under natural light,” she said. “Artificial light throws too many shadows.”

She starts a project by first creating an outline in pencil.

“I do a pretty detailed outline,” she said. “I want to make sure it’s right before I start putting ink in. There’s not much you can do if you make a mistake.”

Pointing out some of the details in the drawing of a bull rider, Susan says the small details are easier for her than the underlying shape of a bull.

“I know what the details are,” she said, “but a bull.…”

Overall, she says, it’s not difficult work for her.

“It’s just time consuming,” she explained. “You have to keep going over and over until you get the right shading.”

Her pen of choice? It’s nothing special. Currently she’s using a pen offered free to customers by an area bank.

• A selection of Susan Miller’s drawings will be on display in the Stair Public Library Annex during February and March.

An open house is planned from 10 a.m. until noon Saturday. Refreshments will be served.

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